Despite all that seems to go wrong in Polish hockey the light at the end of the tunnel has been the amount of great young talent that Poland has in their system right now. This is the deepest depth of young talent Poland has had this century. Regardless of what happens in regards to management and coaching with the talent that Poland has coming, they should be able to push forward. In this list, I wanted to rank Poland’s young talent to create a better picture of what the future look likes. There are only a few rules.
- The cutoff date for age was the final day of the Division 1 Group B World Championships
- No players that are under the age of 16
- Rankings are based on a mixture of current play and potential
Honorable Mentions (Alphabetical Order): Bartosz Florczak (Defensemen, Sanok), Filip Mazurkiewicz (Forward, Torun), Kamil Sikora (Left Wing, Zaglebie Sosnowiec), Michal Cychowski (Forward, Krefelder EV 1981 U17), Maciej Miarka (Goalie, SMS Katowice), Mateusz Wawrzkiewicz (Forward, Tampa Bay Juniors), Milosz Kuszynski (Forward, ECC Preussen Berlin), and Pawel Oblonski (Forward, Skedvi/Säter)
Rank – Player Name, Age During Next Hockey Season, Team
#50 – Piotr Pawel Ciechanowski, 20, ES Weißwasser U20. We start of the list with a player who could be described as the black sheep of Polish prospects. Ciechanowski gained attention by finishing 8th in DNL2 (Germany) scoring in 2015-16 before making the jump to Denmark for 2 years, where he played some professional hockey in the Danish second league. He returned to Germany last season, where he had 20 points (8G, 12A) in 30 games. His junior career is over and ended without representing Poland once at an IIHF event, but was on the roster for many non-IIHF tournaments. Ciechanowski has played abroad for a long time and it will be interesting to see where he lands now that his junior career is over.
#49 – Alexis Svitac, 23, Orlik Opole. The son of former Polish hockey olympian Andrzej Svitac, has now played in Poland for 3 years without making much of a mark. In Podhale, he wasn’t afforded too many top chances, while in Opole the team eventually went bankrupt having him playing with a roster of scraps and random loans. He was selected to be apart of PZHL U23 this year in some exhibition games that later got canceled. He has a good skill set, but both a lack of chances and development on his part make hard to see Svitac donning the eagle on his chest.
#48 – Jakub Worwa, 20, Podhale Nowy Targ. Worwa has bounced around a lot in his short career and that has always not always allowed him to get comfortable and showcase his skills, but this year with Podhale Worwa finally got his long term short. He did well in it putting up 11 points (3G, 8A) in 37 games, while adding 3 more assists in 15 playoff games. He also represented Poland at the U20 World Championships, for the second time, picking up one assist. Worwa is a player I definitely hope that I continue to see more of in larger roles, he has already re-signed with Podhale for 2019-20.
#47 – Dawid Musiol, 22, Cracovia Krakow. Musiol has been a favorite of national team coaches for a while. He has played twice at the U18 and U20 World Championships, along with getting some senior games this year. I imagine he will return to Naprzod Janow for the following season. Musiol has a lot of great qualities to his game, but a share of weaknesses. His role on the national team will be more in the bottom pairing.
#46 – Patryk Pelaczyk, 21, JKH GKS Jastrzebie. Pelaczyk is one of the biggest players in Polish hockey at 6’5 227 lbs and when he uses that size to forecheck look out. He impressed me at the 2017-18 World Juniors with his forechecking ability. He needs to be more consistent in using his size though. This year he started to score more, but only when away from Jastrzebie. In 19 games with Jastrezebie he had 1 goal in 19 games, away on loan to PZHL u23 and Orlik Opole he had 11 points (6G, 5A) in 22 games. I hope he gets more of an opportunity next season with Jastrezebie. There will also always be value with him to the Polish national team through his size as a forechecker and net-front presence.
#45 – Dominik Olszewski, 20, KH Torun. Olszewski used to be higher on my list after impressing in foreign Germany and American leagues, while also having a strong showing at the 2015-2016 U18s. Olszewski game has continued to grow but has had a slide in my rankings after disappointing production in the PHL and with Poland U20. In 45 PHL games, he has 5 points (3G, 2A), and only 2 points (1G, 1A) in 15 U20 World Championship games. He is able to still carve up lesser leagues as shown by his 2.70 ppg in Poland’s U20 league, which was the third best in the league. I have a lot of faith in Torun right now and their roster, now that the three big Russians are gone though I hope Olszewski gets maybe some higher offensive chances.