While this is not the time when I initially wanted to start this list, as I was hoping to have the Women’s World Championships to help distinguish some players at the top of the list. The coronavirus outbreak has effectively canceled or postponed all tournaments for the year.
This really is a bummer for Polish hockey with the amount of young talent they have at their disposal. It definitely seemed liked Poland had a chance to earn promotion at this year’s senior world championship. Women’s hockey in Poland is vastly on the rise with more players each year and a quick ability to develop players that are able to compete outside of Poland in stronger leagues. The talent pool has evolved so quickly that we have doubled our list size from last year. There is still a tremendous amount of work to be done, but the future is bright. Today we start our 2020 ranking of the top 30 U20 Women’s players in Poland.
A player has to be 20 or younger on March 13th, 2020. There is no minimum age to make the list. Players are judged based on a combination of career history, current play, and potential.
Honorable Mentions (In No Order): Aleksandra Górska, Antonina Puchowska, Wiktoria Kedra, and Julia Grzelak
Rank – Player Name (Position), Age During Next Hockey Season, Team (Ranking in 2019, change in ranking)
30 – Adriana Solecka (RW), 19, SKKH Atomówki GKS Tychy, (Unranked)
Solecka returned to Tychy this year after playing with Janow for the past two seasons. After recording 0 points in 9 games with Janow in the PLHK A, she put up 5 points (2-3-5) in 14 games for Tychy. After some time apart, she is appearing to become a solid forward for Tychy.
29 – Julia Zaborowska (D), 17, KH Polonia Bytom, (Unranked)
Zaborowska made her IIHF debut this year for Poland at the U18s as part of a very good defensive core. I can’t recall her doing any bad, but also nothing that really stood out, which is probably best for a non-offensive defenseman. Her season in Poland was not much either as she only played three games for Polonia.
28 – Olga Jaskulska (F), 15, GKS Stoczniowiec Gdańsk, (Unranked)
Jaskulska was able to earn a larger role in Gdańsk this year and recorded her first three assists in the top Polish women’s league. She also was able to slightly up her production at the junior level from 11 points (7-4-13) to 13 points (7-6-13). Jaskulska is still a very young player, and her play at the top level shows some potential. She will most likely be able to earn a spot on the U18 squad in the coming years.
27 – Katarzyna Zaborska (D), 17, UKHK Unia Oświęcim, (Unranked)
Zaborska looked a lot better at the U18s this year, and well I don’t really believe in plus-minus, she was one of only three Polish players to finish positive. She also had a much stronger season for Oświęcim finishing with 5 points (4-1-5) in 15 games, compared to 3 points (1-2-3) in 17 games last season. I feel she could be a solid two-way player for Poland.
26 – Justyna Zyla (F), 15, UKHK Unia Oświęcim, (Unranked)
The youngest and second smallest player on Poland’s U18 squad was impressive at times during the U18s. While her stat sheet was pretty blank with only one shot, she showed she should definitely be back on team Poland next year. She also notched two goals for Oświęcim, during her club season.
25 – Karolina Rostalska (D), 19, UKH Białe Jastrzębie, (16, -9)
Karolina has one of the biggest drops from the list last year. Last year she had an okay showing at the U18s aided by a strong season with UKH Białe Jastrzębie. This year her production dropped by 6 points and her penalty minutes tripled. Along with the number of defenders that impressed at the U18s, her drop was inevitable.
24 – Alicja Kopciara (F), 18, SKKH Atomówki GKS Tychy, (8, -16)
Kopciara had drops in production at both the U18 level and with Tychy. After posting 3 points (2-1-3) at the U18s last year, this year she went pointless at the event. Kopciara was a force last year in the PLHK with 9 goals in 17 games, but only recorded 2 goals in 4 games this year. A lack of production at the u18s and lack of playing during the regular season are the reasons for her drop, but she remains a very strong goal scorer.
23 – Alicja Mota (F), 16, KH Polonia Bytom, (Unranked)
The soon to be 16-year-old is already a three time champion in Poland with Polonia Bytom. Mota posted career highs in games played, goals, assists, and points this year with Polonia after recording 5 points (2-3-5) in 15 games. She also represented Poland at the U18s, but only recorded 4 penalty minutes. She showed some potential at the tournament but was too often overmatched. She also represented Poland at the youth Olympics.
22 – Alicja Sowa (F), 16, KH Polonia Bytom, (Unraked)
Sowa was apart of the worst line at the 2019 U18s, but that was not the case in 2020. Her play drastically improved, though Poland was much better defensively overall. Sowa’s biggest jump came with Polonia. This year she recorded 8 points (1-7-8) in 15 games to help Polonia to first place. This was after she was pointless in 10 games the previous year.
21 – Julia Łapińska (F), 15, GKS Stoczniowiec Gdańsk, (Unranked)
At just 14 years old, Lapinska was able to finish top 25 in PLHK scoring. She had a great year for Gdańsk recording 13 points (6-7-13) in 10 games. This included good performances at the junior level as well. She is very short at 4’9 and likely her height contributed to her being left off the U18 squad, but I have no doubt if she keeps up her production she will make the team next year.
20 – Magdalena Łąpieś (F), 14, GKS Stoczniowiec Gdańsk, (Unranked)
Lapies legit turns 14 on March 15th, the 13-year-old finished top 15 in PLHK scoring with 24 points (8-16-24) in 15 games. Lapies comes out of a promising Lodz youth hockey program that is continuing to pump out a lot of great talent. She has produced at a strong rate anywhere she has gone. She will likely be joining the Polish U18 squad very soon.