What If You Made A Team of Players That Chose Another Country Over Poland? Welcome to Team Not Poland.

Sometimes you just need to step on a lego, stub your toe, or pull your own teeth out. The pain makes you feel alive. Today we are going to be just doing that as we make a team out of players that chose another country over representing Poland. The rules are a bit lose here as some players never actually made a choice. Basically, if a player has a Polish flag on their page in elite prospects and doesn’t play for Poland, they’re qualified. Alright time to start pouring lemon juice mixed with salt in our cuts.

The Offense

1st Line: Wojtek Wolski – Stéphane Da Costa – Teddy Da Costa
2nd Line: Jacob-Micflikier – Evan McGrath – Jordan Pietrus
3rd Line: Wojciech Stachowiak – Kamil Sadlocha – Adrian Grygiel
4th Line: Bartek Bison – Krys Kolanos – Jakub Borzecki

Okay, let us get that pain started with first line winger Wojtek Wolski. Wolski and Da Costa are two of the best imports in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). They will form a lethal duo on the top line. Joining them on the top line is Teddy Da Costa, the brother of Stephane and a member of GKS Katowice. Wolski was born in Poland but his family left when he was about 3. He represents Canada internationally playing for them at the 2018 Olympics. Both Da Costa brothers were born in France to a French father and Polish mother. Teddy Da Costa has played hockey in Poland during 8 seasons in his career with his upcoming season for GKS Katowice being number nine. His wife is Polish and he lives in Oswiecim during the offseason. Both Da Costa brothers are longtime members of the French national team.

That second line features quite a few players who have made their way around various European minor leagues. Jacob Micflikier was a top scorer in the AHL, before moving to Europe in 2012, since then he has played in the KHL, Swedish Hockey League (SHL), and National League (NLA). He has represented Canada at multiple Spengler Cups and non-IIHF international events. Evan McGrath has had a similar career to Micflickeir, being a solid AHLer, before moving to Europe. He has played in Sweden, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, and the United Kingdom in that order. McGrath represented Canada at the 2004 U18 World Championships. The final piece of this line is a familiar one to Polish fans as Jordan Pietrus played for Sanok in 2014. He was a high scorer in the ECHL before moving to Poland. Since then he spent three seasons in the United Kingdom and played last year in Denmark.

The third line is quite an interesting one. Wojiech Stachowiak and Kamil Sadlocha both play in the NCAA. They were both born in Poland, but chose to represent different countries. I did a more in-depth piece about their careers here. Stachowiak represents Germany, while Sadlocha wears red, white, and blue. Adrian Grygiel is the babysitter veteran of this group. Grygiel played over 900 games in the DEL from 2000 to 2019, an extremely long career. He is tied for the 9th most ever games played in the DEL. His streak ended when he signed with Eispiraten Crimmitschau in the DEL2 midseason last year. He has re-signed with them for this year. He represented Germany at multiple U20 World Championships and one U18 World Championship.

The final line is the wild card, not really sure what to expect out of it. Bartek Bison is a promising young player for the Netherlands. He has played in the North American Hockey League, United States Hockey League, and Western Hockey League. He has represented the Netherlands at the World Championships and U20 World Championships. Former NHLer Krys Kolanos will be centering the fourth line. Kolanos has faced quite a few injury problems during his career. He played 151 NHL games with the Coyotes, Oilers, and Wild. Kolanos played for GKS Tychy during the 2017-18 season. That 2017-18 season was also the most recent in his hockey career, as he did not play in 2018-19. He represented Canada at the 2003 World Championships. The last player is the son of Polish hockey legend Adam Borzecki. Jakub Borzecki holds American, German, and Polish citizenship. He was born in New York, while his father was playing for the Syracuse Crunch in the AHL. Borzecki and his family moved to Germany in 2005, where Adam Borzecki continued his career. Jakub Borzecki developed in the German system and has represented Germany at the U16, U17, and U18 level, including the 2019 U18 World Championships.

The Defense

1st Pairing: Lukas Ogorzelec – Arkadiusz Dziambor
2nd Pairing: Damian Szurowski – Maksymilian Szuber
3rd Pairing: Alexander Andrews – Oskar Pulaczewski

While the offense was impressive the defense is vomit inducing. I had to break some of my rules just to field a full defense. I went back to 2013 trying to find a decent defenseman to take a spot, but nothing.  This defensive core is extremely weak. 23-year-old Lukas Ogorzelec is one of two non-junior players on the defense. He has played 169 in the Oberliga for ECC Preussen Berlin. He is paired with Arkadiusz Dziambor, a 17-year-old, defenseman in the Jungadler Mannheim system. He was born in Pyskowice, Poland. Dziambor has played for Germany at the U16 and U17 level. Damian Szurowski has played in Poland the last two years with Cracovia Krakow. While Damian never made a choice he is eligible for Poland, but it is unlikely he would make Poland or Sweden. Maksymilian Szuber is a top German prospect for the 2021 draft. The 16-year-old defenseman has already played for the German U16, U17, and U18 team. He was born in Opole, Poland but has spent most of his junior career in the Austrian system playing for RB Hockey Akademie and EC Salzburg. He is the youngest member of our defense. The final pairing is the worse of the three. It is made up of Alexander Andrews, a Canadian Polish GMHL player,  and Oskar Pulaczewski, a 20-year-old, who plays in Germany’s 5th tier of hockey for Weserstars Bremen II. I also believe that Oskar Pulaczewski is eligible for Poland, but he has spent most of his junior and youth hockey days in Germany and we needed bodies for this defense.

The Goalies

Starter: Will McEwen

Back up: Maksymilian Jan Mojzyszek

Our two goaltenders are both young and pretty inexperienced in professional hockey. McEwan is committed to play for Gustavus Adolphus College in NCAA III. He split the last two years in the U.S. junior leagues between the Western States Hockey League and Eastern Hockey League. McEwan was born in Connecticut and played his entire junior career in the states. Mojzyszek is the back up for the team. The 19-year-old goalie plays for Nittorps IK in Sweden after starting his career in Iceland. He has represented Iceland at the U18 and U20 World Championships multiple times.

The Big Question

The big question to me is could this team beat Poland. When looking at the two teams, team non-Poland has the advantage on offense, but Poland has them beat on defense and in the net. The large advantage in net should be able to slow down the fierce offensive attack of team non-Poland. While Polish stars like Aron Chmielewski, Damian Kapica, and Patryk Wronka should slice through the weak defense and goaltending. I’ll give it a final score of 5-3 for Poland.

It is hard to think of all the offensive talent that Poland has lost. So many great players that would instantly be among the top forwards for Poland. On defense, there are not many huge professional losses, but so many great young future pieces. In net Poland is great and players who have chosen another country would be unlikely to make Poland.  The goal for Poland going forwards needs to be convincing top talents to play for Poland, while not all of these players ever had the option to play for Poland it still remains something Poland needs to pay attention to. If Polish hockey is going to advance they can’t lose players like Wojciech Stachowiak or Adam Kiedewicz.

If you want to keep up with all the offseason news, make sure to follow us on Twitter @PolandHockey and like our Facebook page.

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