In the 2022 draft, Polish hockey got a rare, but fleeting, spotlight when the Arizona Coyotes selected German defensemen Maksymilian Szuber. Szuber was born in Opole, Poland, but represents Germany on the international stage. Still, he was credited in most places as Polish due to his birthplace. The draft pick got many people talking about how Poland possibly lost a player to another country. That is why we wanted to start this series called Polish Roots, where we dive deep into the careers of players with Polish roots, and find out why they didn’t represent Poland. Today, we take a look at Adam Kiedewicz.
Adam Kiediwicz was born on May 21st, 2000, in Toruń, Poland. His father, Sławomir Kiedewicz, was well known to Polish hockey fans. The elder Kiedewicz had played in Poland’s top level of hockey with TKH Toruń for 12 years. He also appeared outside Poland in Germany’s fourth division for seven years, mainly with EHC Troisdorf. Sławomir’s brother, Łukasz Kiedewicz, was also a long-time player for TKH Toruń, appearing for the club in eight seasons. Łukasz Kiedewicz has been a coach at the youth and senior levels for Toruń-based clubs since retiring. Both brothers represented Poland at the IIHF junior and senior-level non-IIHF events.
The Kiedewicz family was well established in Toruń hockey, and it wasn’t considered a surprise when Sławomir’s son Adam took up the sport. Sławomir Kiedwicz played in Germany from 2007 until the 2012 season when he retired. But Adam Kiedwicz remained in Poland during that time.
“So I grew up in Toruń, and I played there until 12, and then I moved to Germany.”Adam Kiedewicz on where his hockey journey began.
Starting in 2013, Kiedewicz played in the German junior ranks after playing his youth hockey in Poland. He quickly moved up the age groups and eventually reached the top levels. In 2015, he appeared for Kölner EC U16 in Germany’s top U16 league. He was teammates with fellow Pole Dominik Olszewski and current New Jersey Devils’ prospect Dominik Bokk. It was also an organization his father had played in; Sławomir Kiedewicz appeared for Kölner EC II in 2001.
“Was a honour to wear the Haie Jersey for sure, it wasn’t easy to get there obviously I had to show character and work harder than anybody to prove, because of the foreigner status haha
Was really nice to meet and play with players like Dominik, especially when you are young and grow up together”Adam Kiedewicz on getting to play with Kölner EC and players like Dominik Bokk
After another year at the U16 level in 2016, he would get his shot at the top U20 level the following year. At only 16 years old, Kiedewicz had made it to the top German junior level, the DNL, and it was also for Kölner EC U19 that had just made the previous season’s semi-finals. In his first year in the DNL, he would post four goals and four assists in 41 games. The solid first year attracted the Polish national team’s attention, which appointed the 16-year-old to the Polish U18 squad.
“Special time for me and of course huge honour to represent the own country, because I was 16 at this time But nothing crazy.”Adam Kiedewicz on memories of representing Poland U18
In April of 2017, he was off to Slovenia to represent Poland at an IIHF event for the first time. While Poland was relegated from the tournament, it was their first year back in Division 1 after being promoted the previous year. Still, things looked bright for Poland, as they had a special group of players in the tournament. Among the 2000-born players on the team were some notable prospects in Adam Kiedewicz, Damian Tyczyński, Kamil Wałęga, and Jan Soltys. While three of those players have become critical parts of the national team’s future, this would be the last time we saw one in the red and white.
2017 was the last time Adam Kiedewicz represented Poland internationally. There were quite a few eyebrows raised in 2018 when he was not brought to camp for the Polish U20 team. The PZHL said after the event he was no longer representing Poland. A few people reported that the Toruń native would be trying his hand at making team Germany on the international stage. The reason seemed a bit far-fetched at the time, due to eligibility rules requiring him to play for four more years in Germany before he could appear for the German national team. The belief was now that Poland had lost a strong player to Germany, as was the fear with quite a few other young players. But why did Kiedewicz stop representing Poland?
“In Germany the rules for foreigners are very strict, so I decided to not play for the Polish national team and get German passport.”Adam Kiedewicz on why he hasn’t represented Poland since 2017
Following the 2017 season, the passport would not be his only change. He switched over to the Krefelder EV 1981 junior system. A team that is very familiar to Polish fans, as plenty of Poles have appeared for the club, including GKS Katowice forward Jakub Prokurat. Other Polish Root players like Darren Mieszkowski and Maciej Rutkowski also appeared for the team. So why the change in junior clubs?
“I’ve changed the team because of the school and in my opinion it was the best move for me and my hockey future, Krefeld gave me the opportunity to end up the highest graduate of Germanys school system and by the way pro contract for the Del team so I decided to move on.”Adam Kiedewicz on moving to Krefelder EV 1981
The passport and transfer seemed to pay off quickly. After Kiediwicz’s first season with Krefelder, where he was one of the leading scorers, he would sign a 3-year deal with the Krefeld Pinguine of Germany’s top league, the DEL. The Krefeld Pinguine were affiliated with Krefelder EV 1981. He would continue to play junior hockey with Krefelder EV 1981 during the 2018 season. That season he would post over 110 points in what would be the final junior season of his career.
The Toruń native was now set to play senior hockey after his career-high junior season. He moved up to the Obelriga, Germany’s third level of hockey, now with Krefelder EV 1981 U23. There he was teammates with long-time DEL forward Adrian Grygiel, born in Katowice, Poland. Kiediwicz would spend the next two seasons with the U23 club, posting 62 points in 81 games.
Following the end of the 2021 season, his contract with the Krefeld organization would expire, and he would not re-sign. For the 2022 season, he moved on to Dresdner Eislöwen, who compete in the second level of German hockey, the DEL 2. He would record 17 points in his first year in the new league.
“It was a big difference to play in DEL 2 than in Oberliga, the experience that I collected in U23 team helped me a lot to get on the senior level ( physical and quicker ) but there was a lot of strategy plays which I had to learn and I had to be patient on it.”Adam Kiedewicz on moving from a U23 team in a senior league to a DEL 2 team
The young forward impressed enough to earn another opportunity in the league and has re-signed for the 2023 season. Kiediwicz making the DEL 2 is pretty impressive for a kid from Toruń. He comes from a hockey family that was only really known in Toruń and is growing it on a much bigger stage in Germany. The journey to the top league continues, and I would be shocked if he never makes it to the DEL. Even though he no longer represents the Polish national team, I can guarantee that Polish fans will follow and cheer his journey.
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