Taking A Closer Look At Poland’s 2020-21 EWHL Roster

Last year Poland made their debut in the European Women’s Hockey League as the Silesia Brackens. This was a great chance to grow women’s hockey in Poland and improve both established and young national team members. The way the team functions also allows for plenty of players to get chances. Last year 26 players suited up in at least one of the team’s 18 games. The Brackens finished sixth in the league. Just a couple wins out of the playoffs. Now in 2020, after a COVID delay, Poland’s top women team kicks off play with two games this weekend. The team comes into the year with a new name as Metropolis Katowice, and a new coach in Tomasz Marznica. Former head coach, Ivan Bednar is staying on as an assistant and advisor to the national team. Marznica has named his initial roster for the year, so with that let us take a look.

2020-21 Metropolis Katowice Roster

This team can be considered a potential national team roster. While we didn’t get to see last year how many players from the EWHL squad would play for the national team. The team does mostly include the national team and u18 squad regulars. Plus, this is an excellent chance for Tomasz Marznica to scout new talent with the same national team coaching staff.

Forwards

Alicja Kopciara (17). Kopciara had a down year on both the international and PLHK level. She remains a strong contender to be a key producer in Poland’s future. Her goal-scoring prowess would be a massive help to team Poland and Metropolis Katowice. She ranked 24th on our top 30 U20 list.

Alicja Mota (16). Despite being only 15 at the time, Mota made her second U18 appearance this year. She has a lot of potential to be a great forward for Poland. She needs to keep growing but would have been a massive contributor to the U18 squad this year. It will be interesting to see how she performs in a stronger competition like the EWHL. She was ranked 23rd on our top 30 U20 list.

Alicja Siejka (20). The Gdansk forward had one of the best years in the PLHK last year, recording 26 points. She also made her EWHL debut playing two games. Siejka’s ceiling is likely a middle-six forward for Poland but is already a pretty well-established part of the national team forward group at just 20-years-old.

Ewelina Czarnecka (30). One of Poland’s most reliable veterans on the offensive end. Czarnecka is likey to split her time between the EWHL and the top league in Slovakia. Last year she posted two goals and nine assists in thirteen EWHL games.

Ida Talanda (17). Talanda was going to be one of the most crucial players to the Polish U18 squad. Last year, she only played in one EWHL game. I expect that total to increase by a lot this year. She had a great rookie year in the PLHK and missed being a point per game player by one point. The Krynica native was ranked thirteenth on our top 30 U20 list.

Iga Schramm (18). Schramm had one of the most impressive outings at the U18s. Add in a solid season for Poznań, and she was rewarded with a deal in the top Swiss league, the SWHL A. Her deal in Switzerland will probably mean her EWHL games are pretty limited, but either club will be fantastic for her development.

Joanna Orawska (22). Orawska continues to prove herself on larger stages. Last year she played in the top women’s league in Slovakia and with Poland in the EWHL. In the two leagues combined, she posted 22 points (13G, 9A, 22 PTS) in 29 games. Her 11 EWHL points were second on the Brackens. Orawska is a considerable part of Poland’s offense for the future.

Joanna Strzelecka (23). Strzelecka was a reliable center last year for both UKHK Unia Oświęcim and the Silesia Brackens. In 14 EWHL games the previous year, she posted five assists—a quality center for Poland’s third line.

Kamila Wieczorek (23). Wieczorek is one of the best Polish players of all time at just 23. With that, she won’t be appearing much in the EWHL. She plays in the top Swiss Leauge, the SWHL A.. Especially with COVID-19 appearing in two large groups and travel like that will be pretty uncommon.

Karolina Baran (18). Baran is coming off a great season with Cracovia in the PLHK B, where her 27 points doubled her 14 games. A strong international season as well for Poland at the U18s. This will be her EWHL debut. She was ranked ninth in our top 30 U20 rankings.

Karolina Churas (21). Churas has continued to grow into a solid play with Tychy. This resulted in her playing 13 games with the Brackens, where she recorded two assists. Her ceiling is most likely on the bottom lines for Poland.

Karolina Późniewska (28). Późniewska is easily the best female Polish player of all time. She has 30 more points for Poland than any other player at the World Championships. Before last year, the Polonia Bytom legend had only played a handful of games outside of Poland. In her first EWHL season, she recorded 13 goals and 13 assists in 16 games. This was tied for eighth in the league overall.

Katarzyna Wybiral (20). Wybiral appeared in 14 matches last year for the Brackens registering two assists. Both in the EWHL and PLHK A, she hasn’t shown much offensive potential. She remains a reliable bottom-six option though

Klaudia Kaleja (20). Kaleja has somewhat fallen off after a breakout five-goal performance at the 2018 U18s. Last year, she did post one goal in three EWHL games. The power forward remains a force in the offensive zone but needs to gain consistency.

Maja Błaszków (16). Błaszków is already a very talented forward with a lot of potential. She would have been an essential part of the U18 squad this year, which has lost a lot of talent. This will be her EWHL debut. She was ranked tenth in our top 30 U20 rankings.

Malgorzata Synowiec (20). Synowiec was among the players to only play a handful of games for the Brackens, appearing in two matches. Her PLHK B year, leading the league in points per game with 26 points in 8 games. She ranked 14th in our top 30 U20 list.

Olivia Tomczok (21). Tomczok is one of Poland’s best and most underrated forwards. She was one of the couple of forwards to have EWHL experience previously before Poland joined the league. The young forward posted nine points (4G-5A-9PTS) in 16 games. This was tied for fourth on the team in points. Tomczok is easily one of the most valuable forwards to Metropolis Katowice and a first liner.

Sylwia Łaskawska (22). Poland has a weird thing with developing forwards where there is a considerable gap between the top forwards and the rest of the roster. No in-between. Łaskawska has a high ceiling, but right now, she is already in that in-between place that Poland needs. In 16 EWHL games last year, she posted two goals and four assists.

Tetiana Onyshchenko (20). Onyshchenko is the first non-Polish player to play for the Polish squad in the EWHL. The Ukrainian forward is on her way to acquiring Polish citizenship though. She has been a star for Gdańsk, recording 42 points (25G, 17A, 42PTS), which was third in the PLHK. She previously played with Karlskrona HK in Sweden’s division one league.

Wiktoria Dziwok (20). When looking at the forwards critical to Poland’s future, Dziwok doesn’t come up a lot. She may never be a top-line player, but she can more than handle her own. Dziwok will be great for Poland’s middle six in the future. She recorded two goals and two assists last year in sixteen EWHL matches.

Wiktoria Sikorska (17). Sikorska is one of the best forwards in Poland. This season, she will mostly be playing with Göteborg HC in Sweden’s top league, the Svenska damhockeyligan. With that, she probably won’t play much in the EWHL if at all. Last year with the Brackens, she recorded thee assists in five games. She ranked number one in our top 30 U20 list.

Zuzanna Baran (18). Baran had a great season in Slovakia, leading all U18 players in points in Slovakia’s top women’s league. While she will be returning to play in Slovakia, she would be a solid contributor in a few EWHL games this year. Zuzanna Baran was our fourth-ranked player in the top 30 U20 rankings.

Defense

Alicja Wcisło (20). A two-way defender with great passing ability. She fits perfectly into Poland’s top four. There is a lot of reason to be excited about Poland’s future on defense, and Wcislo is a big reason why. The three-time PLHK A champion, with Polonia Bytom, posted two goals and four assists in 14 EWHL games last year.

Aneta Cygan (23). Cygan, a strong two-way defenseman, only played 11 games last year between the Brackens and Polonia Bytom but made a strong impact as usual. One of the most underrated defenders in Poland.

Anna Kot (16). One of the younger defensemen on the Polish U18 squad, Kot showed improvement last season at the U18 as part of an overall strong defensive core. These EWHL games will be a significant test and experience for her. She was ranked 17th in our top 30 U20 rankings.

Dominika Korkuz (23). Korkuz continues to be a solid defenseman for Poland. Last year she was a mainstay on the Brackens defense, playing in 12 games and recording a goal and two assists.

Klaudia Chrapek (24). One of Poland’s best defensemen, Chrapek, finished third on the Brackens in points with 10, and thirteenth among all defensemen. A treasured part of team Poland, with a young roster, her two-way play is crucial to their success.

Julia Zaborowska (17). Zaborowska made her U18 debut last year, not making an enormous impact. Never making any big mistakes either though. With limited PLHK experience, this is a big chance for the Polonia Bytom defense’s young part.

Julia Zielińska (16). Zielińska is the future of defense for Poland. She already can make a claim for the best Polish defensemen of all time, as she has reached heights not reached by any other Polish defender. As she will appear in the Liiga and Metsis for Kiekko-Espoo, we will likely not see here in any EWHL matches this year.

Natalia Kaminska (20). Kaminska was one of the best POLISH U18 defensemen making the Polish U18 squad four times. She has already established herself on the senior team as well. As the Łódź native continues to gain more experience, she will work her way up the senior depth chart.

Patrycja Sfora (26). The veteran Sfora was able to play outside of Poland really for the first time last year. She posted five points (3G, 2A, 5 PTS) in 16 games. She was one of the most consistent defenders on the team, playing her role well.

Sandra Kosakowska (26). Kosakowska made her return to hockey since after not playing since 2017. The veteran defenseman was a national team regular before taking a hiatus. She only played three games with the Brackens, along with two games in the PLHK. Her return is excellent for the national team’s defensive depth.

Wiktoria Gogoc (20). Gogoc has shown many flashes of potential to be a top defensemen for Poland but hasn’t reached that level yet. Her offensive side has been slower to develop than her play in her own zone. Still, Gogoc currently really helps round out Poland’s defense.

Vanessa Patla (18). Patla made her EWHL debut last year playing a single game. She had an impressive performance at the U18s for team Poland. There she recorded one goal and eight shots. Add in another reliable performance for Vanessa Patla, and it appears in a couple years, Patla will be another excellent defenseman for Poland. She was ranked 11th on our top 30 U20 list.

Goalies

Agata Kosińska (31). The veteran goalie returns after split starting with the Sass last year. The national team goalie has been apart of the senior national squad since 2012. In 7 games with the Brackens last year, she posted a .873 SV%.

Helena Grzybowska (18). While Sass has the goaltending position on lock if ever needed, Grzybowska proved that she is more than ready to start if required. She had a breakout performance at the U18s and posted a .893 SV% in two EWHL games. She was ranked sixth overall in our top 30 U20 rankings.

Katarzyna Kurek (24). Kurek had an outstanding performance at the 2014 U18s but hasn’t seen much of a national team impact since then. She has continued to grow and is now the starter for the PLHK champion Polonia Bytom. It will be interesting to see what her future holds. These EWHL games could be a huge stepping stone.

Martyna Sass (19). Sass is an unbelievably talented goalie. The best that Poland has ever seen and may ever see for decades. She dominates the Slovak league. She has led the top Slovak league in goals-against average, save percentage, shutouts, and wins in back to back seasons. She only proved her skills more after posting a .934 SV% in 7 EWHL games. Sass can steal any game for Poland. She was ranked second in our top 30 U20 rankings.

Additions

Before the first games, the team announced additional appointments to the team. Many of the players added to this new group are players under the age of 15, including standouts Julia Skręt (14) and Magdalena Łąpieś (14), whom both have posted high PLHK production beyond their years. Also included are U18 squad members Justyna Żyła (14) and Katarzyna Zaborska (17). The other players added to the roster were Lena Zięba (14), Maja Brzezińska (15), Maja Twardy (14), Nikola Wencel (14), and Patrycja Wójcik (14). None of these players were listed on the rosters for the two games this weekend.

If you want to keep up with all the Polish hockey action, make sure to follow us on Twitter @PolandHockey, like our Facebook page, and add us on Instagram @PolishPuck_.

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