Women’s ice hockey is on the rise in Poland. There is a great mix of top veterans and young players that are leading the charge. While the World Championships and U18 event did not bring any gold this year. They played well at each tournament. They only lost two games at both, earning a Bronze medal at the World Championship. There is a huge drive within the players to get better and improve, this includes more players playing abroad. Young players have also been able to make an impact in the Polska Liga Hokeja Kobiet (PLHK), the top women’s league in Poland. These rankings are based on a mixture of a player’s current play and their potential.
Honorable Mention: Karolina Rostalska – Rostalska was one of the most improved players this season. The previous season she recorded 3 points (1G, 2A) in 11 games with UKH Biale Jastrzebie, this year she increased her production to 11 points (6G, 5A) in 16 games. This earned the 17-year-old a spot on the U18 squad for the first time. Rostalska’s huge improvement this season has me hoping we will continue to see a steady rise in her play.
15. Ida Talanda – Talanda is a solid right wing and has been able to play in the top Slovakian women’s league since she was 13-years-old. In 2017-18 She was tied for first in games played among U18 players and recorded 3 points (2G, 1A). She set a new career this year in points at 4 (1G, 3A) despite playing only 4 games. This year at 15, she made her U18 debut for Team Poland. She was held pointless in 5 games.
14. Alicja Wcislo – Wcislo is a two-way defensemen, who was tied in the lead for points at last year’s U18 Championships. She also had 15 points in 15 games with Polonia Bytom last year. This year Wcislo posted less strong numbers only recording 4 points in 10 games. She made her senior debut at the World Championship going pointless in 5 games. The more experience she gets at the senior level, the more we should see the offensive part return to her game.
13. Alicja Siejka – Siejka made her senior team debut this year after a U18 championship that saw her tied for the lead in points on Poland. She continued her solid play with Stoczniowiec Gdansk. Her goal count dropped from 12 to 3, but turned it on in the playoffs with 5 goals in 5 games. She was also held pointless in 5 games at the senior World Championship.
12. Anna Kot – Kot made her U18 debut this year at 14-years-old. At the event, she didn’t look out of place on defense and recorded 1 assist. She has been playing in the top Polish women’s league, since she was 12. There are still improvements needed on the defensive end, but those should easily come with time. I’m really excited to see how she comes back next year.
11. Maja Blaszkow – Blaszkow has not been able to make as much of an impact in Poland’s women league as others on the list. She has only played 8 PLHK games over the past 2 seasons. Her success has been at the U18 Championships, where she recorded 2 points this year, and one point last year. Blaszkow is only 15-years-old, but she should be on the production leaders on Poland at the U18s next year.
10. Karolina Baran – Baran had a good season with KS Cracovia 1906 in PLHK with 10 points (5G, 5A) in 15 games. For the playoffs, she switched over to PTH Kozice Poznan, where she had 4 points (2G, 2A) in 4 games. Baran also made her U18 debut this year and scored her first IIHF goal.
9. Alicja Kobus – Kobus had an outstanding season in the PLHK with 32 points (14G, 18A) in 15 games, as well as 6 points (2G, 4A) in 4 playoff games. Her 32 points were good for 6th in the PLHK. She also was above a point-per-game in 2017-18. She made her IIHF U18 debut this year, going pointless in 5 games. She was out for a lot of opportunities against and 5 goals, but at her young age losing some of those battles to older players is not that bad of a thing. I expect her to come back really improved next year.
8.Alicja Kopciara – Kopciara was a part of Poland’s top line this year at the U18s. This was her IIHF debut, like most players on the list. She finished third on Poland in points with 3 (2G, 1A). This comes after a strong season with Atomowki Tychy in the PLHK. She set a new career high in points at 5 (4G, 1A), but had an even better playoff with 5 goals in 7 games. Kopciara will also be back on what should be a really good Polish U18 team.
7. Iga Schramm – At 16-years-old, Schramm finished second in PLHK scoring, only 5 points behind Polish hockey great Karolina Pozniewska. Schramm had a total of 55 points including 38 goals in 15 games. She has already hit 100 career points in the PLHK. The previous year, Schramm had 38 points (27 G, 11A) in 10 PLHK games. She made her third U18 team this year, recording 2 assists. She also made her senior team debut at the World Championships.
6. Klaudia Kaleja – Kaleja had a dominant showing at the 2017-18 U18s recording 5 goals in 5 games. Kaleja has a ton of scoring ability and scored 9 goals in 19 games with the Poland U18 squad. In her professional career, she has 62 goals in 61 PLHK games. She played at both the 2016-17 and 2017-18 World Championships but missed this year. At 18-years-old she is already a 3-time PLHK champion.