What Happen to Ernest Bochnak?

In 2016 at the U18 World Championships, the big news for Poland was the national team debut of Alan Lyszczarczyk. Despite the massive hype and attention for Lyszczarczyk, Bochnak was able to steal some of the spotlight. He was the youngest player on Poland and the lone 2000 born player. He did great at the U18s putting up 4 points in 5 games. At that point he was 15, turning 16 during the tournament, and had done very well in the Czechia junior leagues. At the U16 level, he had 9 goals and 1 assist in 8 games, but more important at the U18 level he had 2 goals and 7 assist in 8 games. Eight games is a small sample, but he did well at both levels and look great against U18 competition at the U18 world championship so why slow down the hype train?

The 2016-17 season is here and Bochnak is now playing for HC Vitkovice U18, one of the best U18 teams in the Czech Republic. The season is kinda a letdown. In 32 games, Bochnak puts up 6 goals and 6 assists. Not even close to his pace the previous season. Poland also leaves him off the U18 roster.

This season, Bochnak is still playing in the U18 league, but now with AZ Havirov U18. His production is the same from the previous year. I expect him to be on Poland’s U18 team, but he has been passed by a lot of players and could be left off again.

I believe there are a few reasons for the drop-off. First is a bit of luck, Bochnak was just kinda right place right time in the Czechia junior leagues and then the Poland team he was apart of, was truly dominating and well above their division. They had a goal differential of plus 35. Bochnak’s 4 points were 10th in scoring on the team. On HC Vitkovice, he was one of their lower players not getting a lot of ice time or powerplay time. Now with AZ Havirov there not much talent around him, but a great player also elevates those around him and can still produce no matter the surroundings something Bochnak has not done.

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