Coming to HBO this summer is Game of Imports the story of countries in Division 1 Group A at the World Championships, trying to load up on Americans and Canadiens mostly to play one year in the top division. With that Ted Nolan has said he plans to bring more imports to the team and already added Jan Steber. Today lets take a look at some of my dream imports for Poland. The only rule, they must have Polish heritage. I feel I need to stress I have no inside information these are just dreams none of them are rumored or interested as far as I know.
Wiercoich is a great two-way defenseman with some strong underlying numbers. This season he has been a staple of the Utica Comets in the AHL after not making the Vancouver Canucks out of training camp. He would require 4 years of playing in Poland, due playing for Canada at the World Championships. If you want the perfect import then Wiercoich is it. Also, we already have the jersey printed out so lets make it happen.
If any Bruins, Canucks, or Flames fan read this, they’ll probably laugh at the idea of a team desiring Bartkowski. In Vancouver, he got a rough deal from the coach making him unpopular among fans who wanted younger players. The same can be said in Calgary. He would be Poland’s best defense by a long shot. The Ohio State product’s time in the NHL is coming to an end. Last season he played most of the year on an AHL contract and finally signing with the Flames on a deal that might have been more for the NHL expansion draft. Bartkowski also has never represented the USA at any IIHF event so it would take him two seasons for him to play for Poland. He turns 30 before next year so he could play quite a few seasons for Poland.
Oleksiak is a giant at 6’7. The defenseman currently plays for the Pittsburgh Penguins after being acquired from the Dallas Stars. He is a stay at home physical defenseman, who would fit perfectly in Ted Nolan’s system. He has also represented both the USA and Canada nationally so would adding a third country really be that much of a problem? His past IIHF experience would require four years in Poland, but at only 25, he would give Poland some long-term help.
Szydlowski is a dynamic offensive player and currently leads the ECHL in points. In 258 ECHL games, he has 305 points. He would also only require two years in Poland. I’m honestly curious what his PHL point totals would be. They would break Cichy’s record for sure. He also already seems comfortable playing with an Eagle on his chest.
Kujawinski was a former 3rd round pick of the New Jersey Devils. Since he has turned pro, he has struggled to produce. This season the Devils also traded him to the Arizona Coyotes. His struggle has worsened with the Coyotes’ AHL affiliate. He still shows a lot of potential though. Kujawinski comes from a Polish father. He is also the one I would view that has the highest chance of playing for Poland. It would only take two seasons in the PHL. He is also only 22 and would become a staple of the national team for a long time.
Wojtek Wolski. The 2018 Olympics eliminated the .0001% chance. Congrats to him on making Team Canada and making Poland proud.