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 continue 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.
Rank – Player Name (Position), Age During Next Hockey Season, Team (Ranking in 2019, change in ranking)
9 – Karolina Baran (F), 18, KS Cracovia 1906 (10, +1)
Baran had quite the season in the PLHK B league. She recorded 27 points (18-9-27) in 16 games. Her total was second in the league only to teammate Martyna Solorz. Baran almost doubled her 14 point total from last year in two fewer games. The former UKH Debica youth player also represented Poland at the U18s, recording seven shots and zero points. She was very strong at the Olympics hope tournament though and even scored versus Slovakia. Baran looked up to par against much tougher opponents. She should be a substantial part of the bottom six for the national team for years to come.
8 – Wiktoria Gogoc (D), 20, Silesia Brackens, (5, -3)
Gogoc falls in our ranking but remains one of the best defensemen Poland has. Her fall is more to do with the number of other defensemen that impressed me this year, along with the depth in net improving significantly. Gogoc spent most of her year with the Silesia Brackens in the EWHL, there she recorded two assists in 12 games. I think she is one of the players that needed to gain some experience against tougher opponents the most. She handled it very well, and I was excited to see how she would perform at the World Championships, but alas, we won’t get a chance to.
Nevertheless, Gogoc has a long future for team Poland, possibly on the top line of the defense.
7 – Alicja Wcisło (D), 20, KH Polonia Bytom, (14, +7)
Wcisło is, without a doubt, the most offensively talented defensemen Poland has in their system right now. She was able to post substantial numbers in both the EWHL and PLHKA A. In PLHK A, she had 23 points (13-10-23) in 16 games. This was triple her total from last season in the PLHK A. In the EWHL, Wcisło put up four goals and two assists in 14 games. This was tied for sixth on the Silesia Brackens and top 20 for defensemen overall in the EWHL. Wcisło and Gogoc could easily form the top pair on Poland’s defense for a long time.