Now into the top 5. The players from five to three are the hardest to separate in the entire rankings. These players are not just promising players in Poland, but national team staples that are stars in the PLHK. They post astounding numbers in Poland that would be hard for any player to achieve. The most significant factor separating them this year was how young they were in putting up these statistics.
Players had to be under the age of 20 and at least 13 years old on September 12th, 2022. 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. Skaters must have played at least five games to be considered. While most of the ranking is my opinion, numerous Polish hockey people contributed their thoughts on players. 113 players were considered for the list and reviewed. Fifty players received a ranking.
5 – Ida Talanda (F), 19, Polonia Bytom, (6, +1)
Talanda moves into the top five for the first time in our rankings. She is also the highest-ranked player from Polonia Bytom this season. The high-scoring winger continues earning more ice time in the PLHK and EWHL. In both leagues, she has produced as well. This year in 22 PLHK games, she recorded 30 goals and 23 assists for 53 points. This was tied for seventh among all skaters in points in the PLHK and the second most among U20 skaters. Talanda has become one of the top-scoring options on Poland’s best team. Her hard shot made her one of the best goal-scorers in Poland. One of her goals was also the overtime winner for Polonia Bytom, which won the PLHK championship. This goal-scoring ability is starting to translate to stronger leagues as well. Talanda posted new career highs in goals, assists, and points in the EWHL. With Metropolis Katowice in 2022, the 5’9 forward scored three goals and assisted on two. Her three goals were tied for eight among U20 players in goals.
Talanda has become a vital part of the national team as well. After graduating from the U18 squad, she moved to the senior national team for her first IIHF appearances. The Krynica native represented Poland at both rounds of Olympic qualification, where she posted three points (1G-2A-3PTS) in six games. To end the year, she was with team Poland at the World Championships and added one more goal to her season. Talanda can potentially be a first-line winger for the Polish national team, and she would likely be able to play outside of Poland if she chose to. Undoubtedly, she will already be a mainstay on the senior national team’s top nine.
4 – Maja Brzezinska (F), 17, Stoczniowiec Gdansk (8, +4)
Brzezińska stepped into Gdansk’s top line at just 17 years old and helped Gdansk become the highest-scoring offense in Poland. This year she recorded 31 goals and 23 assists for 53 points in 22 games. This placed her tied seventh in points this year among all PLHK skaters while being the second most among U18 skaters. Her line with Magdalena Lapies and Tatiana Onyshchenko combined for 205 points in 22 games. Her season was topped off with representing the senior and U18 squad at national team events. With the U18 squad, she scored twice in the team’s four games.
Brzezińska is a puck magnet with a lot of speed, and these things combine to generate a lot of scoring chances. Now if those skills will transfer against higher competition remains to be seen. She did play in 10 games with Metropolis Katowice, where the young forward recorded two assists. At just 17 years old, she has plenty of time to continue her growth. She is already one of Poland’s best 12 forwards and will be a significant presence in the national team lineup for a long time.
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