Two significant contributors to the Polish national team are going to be trying their hand abroad this year in Belarus. Forward Krystian Dziubiński and Defenseman Oskar Jaśkiewicz have both signed one year deals with Neman Grodno.
At 32-years-old, this is the first time that Krystian Dziubiński will be playing abroad in his senior career. He did play high school and junior hockey in the United States. Dziubiński has played in the PHL since 2008, racking up 578 games, and 514 points (243-271-514). The Nowy Targ native has also been an irreplaceable member of the national team, appearing at IIHF senior events for Poland in 12 straight years. Last year, he played with Podhale Nowy Targ recording 60 points (29-31-60) in 53 games, a new career-high. Dziubiński had made his intentions of playing abroad known after the PHL playoffs were canceled.
Per Planetofhockey.com, Oskar Jaśkiewicz will be joining his national teammate for his first trip abroad. The 24-year-old two-way defenseman is one of the best Polish defensemen right now. The Nowy Targ native had spent his entire career with Podhale Nowy Targ, up until he signed with GKS Katowice last season. A big part of his signing in Katowice was experienced head coach Risto Dufva, who controversially left mid-season. Jaśkiewicz recorded 13 points (2-11-13) in 49 games this year with Katowice. He also recorded a goal and two assists at the Olympic qualifiers.
This will be a valuable experience for both players. They will gain more experience against stronger competition regularly. This was also a big deal for former national team forward turned agent Krzysztof Zapała, as these are the first two clients of his to sign a deal with a stronger league outside of Poland.
Neman Grodno is one of the top clubs in Belarus. They have won four championships this decade and finished first or second in the regular season every year since 2016. The team will also be playing in the Champions Hockey League this year. Grodno is also where GKS Katowice captain Grzegorz Pasiut played from 2016 to 2018.