We have now hit the top ten of our rankings. It was a really explosive year for newcomers on the list, as three players who were not ranked the previous year have found themselves in the top ten. While three other players have gigantic rises to make the top. In fact, a whole four players from last year’s top ten were able to survive and stay in the ten best.
Players had to be under 20 on June 30th, 2021. We are only judging play that occurred before that date as well. Players are evaluated based on a combination of career history, current play, and potential. While most of the ranking is my opinion, numerous Polish hockey people contributed their thoughts on players. Ninety-five players were considered for the list and reviewed, and fifty players received a ranking. Players 50-31 will be revealed at the end of the series in the breakdown article. Only the top 30 players receive a report.
Rank – Player Name (Position), Age During Next Hockey Season, Team (Ranking in 2020, change in rankings)
10 – Lena Zięba (F), 15, Polonia Bytom, (Not Ranked)
Zięba jumps all the way to the top 10. She had just missed being ranked in the previous edition after a strong year with Janow in the PLHK B and later training with the Metropolis Katowice in the EWHL. She moved from Janow to Polonia Bytom, a great sign for anyone’s future. Not only that, but she delivered at both the senior and junior levels. She scored 15 goals and added two assists in 19 games in the Żak Starszy ŚZHL while posting three goals and one assist in eight PLHK A games. She is showing a lot of promise, and I’m very disappointed we haven’t been able to see her at the IIHF level yet. She scored two goals and two assists in two exhibition games vs. Latvia. This was all done in her aged 14 season.
9 – Julia Łapińska (F), 16, Stoczniowiec Gdansk, (21, +12)
Łapińska makes a huge jump on the list, moving from the 20s to the top ten. The Elblag native posted a new career-high in points for the PLHK A with 12 points (5G, 7A, 12PTS) in 15 games. Łapińska has continued to improve and improve on her craft in Gdansk and is poised to be a strong young player for Poland. Her talent level is beyond her years, and she is already contributing to senior teams in a major role at just 16-years-old. I’m not sure what her ceiling would project to be right now. I think her floor is a top PLHK player who makes national team appearances.
8 – Maja Brzezińska (F), 16, Stoczniowiec Gdansk, (Not Ranked)
From one great young Gdansk star to the next, with more to come, Brzezińska comes in ranked in the top ten in her first ranking. She is also the second-highest debut ranking for this year. It is well deserved after posting eight goals and seven assists in 12 regular-season games this year. Her 15 points were seventh among all skaters in PLHK A. Another player with lost U18 IIHF experiences due to the pandemic cancellations. But she made her presence felt when Poland took on Latvia, scoring two goals and assisting on five other goals in just two games. She generates scoring rates at such a high rate whenever on the ice. Often leaving her teammates with easy finishes.