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. This is part 2 of the series as we look at the players ranked 12 through 10.
Rank – Player Name (Position), Age During Next Hockey Season, Team
#12 – Mateusz Goscinski (LW), 22, GKS Tychy. Goscinski was one of the few young forwards who got to play extendedly with the national team this year and he did not disappoint. He picked up 1 goal and 4 assists for team Poland at various non-IIHF events. He was then named to team Poland for the World Championships and added another goal and two more assists. It was quite the international year for the young forward. He looked impressive at every international tournament he appeared at and cemented himself on all future Polish national team rosters.
He has played for GKS Tychy the last two seasons. His contributions have helped GKS Tychy to back to back PHL championships. Goscinski has been playing in the PHL since 2015-16 when he made appearances for KH Torun and SMS U20 Sosnowiec. In his four PHL years, he has averaged 8 goals and 8 assists a year. This season, he tied a career high for points with 18 (8G, 10A). He did well in the playoffs recording 3 goals and 3 assists. The PHL playoffs usually see a lot of players drop off in scoring as the competition gets a lot tougher. The production dropoff is usually drastic in younger players. Goscinski finished in a 3-way-tie for the most points by a U23 player in the playoffs.
He is a really dynamic player and always making an impact. During the World Championships, when he was on the ice it always seemed like he either had the puck or was on it. Very aggressive always on the puck, but also smart about it and knows how to play his role. Goscinski is the exact kind of player that Poland needs to keep promoting right now. Let him take charge and play more, it is clear he can produce in the role.
#11 – Klaudiusz Libik (F/D), 18, Stjernen Hockey U21. Libik is personally one of my favorite prospects in Poland. The 17-year-old was named to both the U18 and U20 national teams this year. He looked good at both events demonstrating his high offensive and defensive skill. He had 3 assists at the U18s and one at the U20s. He will be a key leader on the defense next year at the U20s for sure. One of the most interesting things about Libik is his ability to play defense and forward. I don’t believe Libik has played in the forward role for Poland, but has played a lot of it during his career in Norway. Libik plays at the top level of junior hockey in Norway. The league is quite an odd one for a Polish player to appear in and I failed to turn up any records of a previous Polish player.
In the Norweign junior leagues, Libik splint last season in between the junior teams of Sparta Sarpsborg and Stjernen Hockey. He had been playing with the top Sparta u18 team since 2015-16. The reason he left the team midway through this year was disagreements with management. Stjernen was quick to snap him up and rushed to get him in their squad. In an interview with Hokej.net he said, “In my new club everyone is surprised why in Sparta they put so little on me.” Later in the interview, he revealed that Sparta wanted him back and contacted him also immediately after his release about returning next year. Libik said he won’t be looking to return to Sparta. He also wants to get to the Get Ligaen soon, and Stjernen should offer a way better chance at that.
Regardless of the drama of his transfer during the season, Libik was able to have a great year. At the U18 level between the two clubs, he had 7 goals and 7 assists in 19 games. In the 21 leagues, he recorded 2 goals and 10 assists in 35 games. His 10 assists were 18th among U18 players in the league.
Libik is a very talented player with a strong two-way game. He would be considered a top prospect for Poland at forward or defense. He is a great athlete and can play a lot of minutes. Libik has only been playing hockey since he was 12-years-old so last year was only his 5th year of hockey. His growth during that time is astounding. There are times when he has made some really bad turnovers on defense. There was one against Ukraine this year at the U20 World Championship that led to Ukraine tying the game. These are the kinda mistakes that will go away in his game as he gets more experience. David Leger, former junior national head coach, talked about a time Libik made a mistake at the U18s, “In one game he thought he put the team in a bad spot and he was really upset with himself. We ended up winning the game, but I really took from that he is the kinda high character guy you want on your team.”
#10 – Bartlomiej Jeziorski (LW), 21, GKS Tychy. The first player in the top 10 is Jeziorski. This season Jeziorski was appointed to his second IIHF senior World Championship team, a very rare feat for a Polish player. This year was the most extended time that Jezoriski received with the Men’s national team since 2016-17. He had 1 goal and 1 assist 8 non-IIHF games with the team, then another goal and an assist at the World Championships.
As a 19-year-old, he posted 23 points (8G, 15A) in 31 games during the 2017-18 regular season. It was the 6th highest point per game ever recorded by a u20 player in the PHL. The 3 other players who have produced at a similar rate also went on to have pretty good careers.
Pasiut is one of the best players in the PHL and did really well in the Belarusian Extraleague A, the top league in Belarus. Teddy Da Costa has represented France internationally as while as playing in the EBEL, Liiga, Mestis, and Synerglace Ligue Magnus. Bernat is the outlier of the two. He had a solid career in the PHL, but nowhere near the success Pasiut or Da Costa had in the PHL.
His production dropped off this year with only 6 goals and 9 assists in 38 games. It didn’t get better in the playoffs when he only scored twice in 17 games. His overall point per game of .31 ranked 150th in the league. It was a rough year production wise for Jeziorski. Despite the drop in production, Jeziorski is still one of the best young forwards in Poland. He has great size at 6’3 and is a very efficient passer. Jezorski has great offensive instincts and a strong shot as well. He has a complete offensive toolset. He should break out next year production wise for GKS Tychy.