While most teams in Poland pursue Finnish imports, and Cracovia picks up Czechs, JKH GKS Jastrzebie continues to have a heavy Latvian influence. The team inked Latvian defender Eduards Hugo Jansons to a one-year deal. The Riga native is the fourth Latvian under contact for the 2023 season.
Eduards Hugo Jansons has bounced around Eastern Europe and Russia in his short career. The defensemen bounced around professional teams in his home country during his junior days, playing for three clubs in the top level of Latvia before turning 20. Starting in 2018, he would begin playing in Russia’s second league, the VHL. In five years with four clubs, he posted 12 goals and 27 assists in 167 games. He received a KHL call-up during the 2020 season and appeared in two games with Dinamo Riga. He started last season with Dizel Penza in the VHL before moving to the Chance Liga with AZ Havířov and then ending the year in the second league of Slovakia with Vlci Zilina. Jansons represented Latvia at the IIHF U18s, World Juniors, and the senior team at plenty of non-IIHF events.
JKH GKS Jastrzebie now has four Latvians under contract, along with Lithuanian forward Mark Kaleinikovas, who spent most of his career in Latvia. The Latvian preference is not surprising after five of the team’s six leading scorers came from the Latvian league. Only two players that finished top ten in points on the team are returning for 2023. The club has to be hoping a few of these players could reproduce the success of their countrymen.
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