2020 Top 30 Women’s U20 Players. #6-4

While this is not the time when I initially wanted to start this list, as I was hoping to have the Women’s World Championships to help distinguish some players at the top of the list. The coronavirus outbreak has effectively canceled or postponed all tournaments for the year.

This really is a bummer for Polish hockey with the amount of young talent they have at their disposal. It definitely seemed liked Poland had a chance to earn promotion at this year’s senior world championship. Women’s hockey in Poland is vastly on the rise with more players each year and a quick ability to develop players that are able to compete outside of Poland in stronger leagues. The talent pool has evolved so quickly that we have doubled our list size from last year. There is still a tremendous amount of work to be done, but the future is bright. Today we continue our 2020 ranking of the top 30 U20 Women’s players in Poland.

A player has to be 20 or younger on March 13th, 2020. There is no minimum age to make the list. Players are judged based on a combination of career history, current play, and potential.

Players #30-20

Players #19-15

Players #14-10

Players #9-7

Rank – Player Name (Position), Age During Next Hockey Season, Team (Ranking in 2019, change in ranking)

#6 – Helena Grzybowska (G), 18, PTH Kozice Poznań, (Unranked)

Grzybowska took any chance she had to play this year and excelled in it. In this list I have raved about how strong Poland looked at the U18s on the defensive end, a major part of that was Helena Grzybowska. She finished the U18s with a .948 save percentage percent. She also faced the second-most shots at the entire tournament. It was an absolute star-making performance. She also had strong performances at the Olympic Hope tournament for Poland.

On the club side, she played twelve games between Popradské líšky, PTH Kozice Poznań, and Silesia Brackens. In the top Slovakia women’ league, she posted a .942 sv% in 7 games for Popradské líšky. This included three shutouts. In her three games with Poznań, she posted a .950 sv%, while facing at least 35 shots in each game. In two games for the Brackens, She posted a .893 sv%, which was second among Polish goalies and U18 goalies in the league. With Sass and Grzybowska in net, Poland is set for a long time.

#5 – Iga Schramm (F), 18, PTH Kozice Poznań (7, +2)

The forward that stood out to me the most at the U18s this year was Iga Schramm. She always seemed to around the puck and making a play while there. She posted four points (2-2-4) in five games, which was tied with Wiktoria Sikorska for the lead on team Poland. She also managed 21 shots in the tournament, her shot total was second on team Poland. She also had a solid showing at the Olympic Hopes tournament, scoring vs Hungary.

In her club season with Poznań, she posted 19 points (12-7-19) in 12 games. This ranked fourteenth in the league and number one overall on Poznań. Schramm already made her senior IIHF debut last year, recording zero points in five games. I was really excited to see how she would have fared at the Worlds this year.

#4 – Zuzanna Baran (RW), 18, Šarišanka Prešov, (4, 0)

Baran didn’t really have a strong appearance at the U18s. She recorded zero points and registered 11 shots, but Poland’s offense as a whole struggled at the tournament. She is ranked fourth once again thanks to her excellent season in Slovakia. In the Slovak top women’s league, Baran posted 34 points (13-21-34) in 22 games. Her point total ties her for eleventh overall in the league, third among players under 20, and first among players under 18.

Her situational point break down was very impressive as well with 85.3% of her points coming at even strength, 8.8% on the powerplay, and 5.9% shorthanded. Seeing a player do so well offensively without a majority of those points coming in five on five hockey is a great sign about their potential. This was also an 11 point increase from last season when she had 23 points. Baran has a very bright future and should be a valuable part of Poland’s top 6.

Player #3

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Four National Team Members Won’t Return to Cracovia Krakow

After a disappointing fifth-place finish in the PHL regular season, Cracovia Krakow came into the playoff as an underdog. However, the team still was able to take JKH GKS Jastrzebie to seven games in a back and forth first-round series. In the end, the green and black would get the better of Krakow in the series. The results are clearly not up to par with what is usually expected from Cracovia, as the 2019-20 season is the first season since  2014-15 that club did not compete for the championship or for bronze. While the rest of the world doesn’t know what to do right now, Cracovia knows they want to reshape their roster.

Per Hokej.net, Adam Domogała, Kamil Kalinowski, Maciej Kruczek, and Mateusz Bepierszcz, all will not be returning to Krakow. Most of these players excelled in the 2018-19 season but struggled as the league improved this year.

Adam Domogala posted 28 points (11-17-28) in 46 games during his fifth season in the red and white. The Katowice native played his junior hockey in Germany, along with spending his first few professional seasons in the DEL2 and Oberliga. He made his senior IIHF debut for Poland at last year’s World Championships and recorded two goals in five games. I have to imagine GKS Katowice could be a likely destination for the soon to be 27-year-old forward.

Kamil Kalinowski recorded 14 points (6-8-14) in 32 games in his first full season with Cracovia Krakow. He joined them in the middle of last year after spending the previous three seasons with GKS Tychy. He made quite the impression in a short time recording 16 points (5-11-16) in 22 games, but could not repeat that success. Kalinowski last represented Poland at a non-IIHF event in 2018. The 28-year-old center is a product of the Torun junior system, and brother Michal plays for Torun. Given KH Torun’s emergence, I wonder if Kamil could return to the program like Bartosz Fraszko did.

Maciej Kruczek posted 16 points (5-11-16) in 44 games during his sixth season with Cracovia Krakow. The defensemen served as captain of Krakow in 2018. Kruczek has represented Poland three times at the World Championships, and most likely would have been four if not for an equipment issue in 2019. The veteran defensemen should have a large number of suitors for his strong two-way game.

Mateusz Bepierszcz posted 23 points (7-16-23) in 52 games with Cracovia this season. This is a far cry from his production last year, where he posted 55 points (24-31-55) 58 games. The 6’3 left winger has bounced around plenty of top teams in the Polish league and will be looking to join his fifth team this offseason. The 28-year-old has only represented Poland at one World Championship but has represented Poland at two Olympic qualifier tournaments, and is a regular at non-IIHF events.

If you want to keep up with all the offseason news, make sure to follow us on Twitter @PolandHockey and like our Facebook page.

 

David Zabolotny Not Returning To Deggendorfer SC


Deggendorfer SC announced they will not be re-signing Polish goaltender David Zabolotny. He posted a .879 save percentage in 35 games, 17th among goalies in the Oberliga with at least 10 games played.

Zabolotny is most known for his own goalie a few years ago in the PHL, but the soon to be  26-year-old has played in, Germany’s third league, the Oberliga for the past three years. He spent the first two years with EV Lindau, but switched to Deggendorfer SC for the 2019-20 campaign. The season was of course cut short by the coronavirus, but Deggendorfer SC sat third in the Oberliga Süd. The club would have been primed for a long playoff run. There is currently no word on were Zabolotny will head next.

If you want to keep up with all the offseason news, make sure to follow us on Twitter @PolandHockey and like our Facebook page.

2020 Top 30 Women’s U20 Players. #9-7

While this is not the time when I initially wanted to start this list, as I was hoping to have the Women’s World Championships to help distinguish some players at the top of the list. The coronavirus outbreak has effectively canceled or postponed all tournaments for the year.

This really is a bummer for Polish hockey with the amount of young talent they have at their disposal. It definitely seemed liked Poland had a chance to earn promotion at this year’s senior world championship. Women’s hockey in Poland is vastly on the rise with more players each year and a quick ability to develop players that are able to compete outside of Poland in stronger leagues. The talent pool has evolved so quickly that we have doubled our list size from last year. There is still a tremendous amount of work to be done, but the future is bright. Today we continue our 2020 ranking of the top 30 U20 Women’s players in Poland.

A player has to be 20 or younger on March 13th, 2020. There is no minimum age to make the list. Players are judged based on a combination of career history, current play, and potential.

Players #30-20

Players #19-15

Players #14-10

Rank – Player Name (Position), Age During Next Hockey Season, Team (Ranking in 2019, change in ranking)

9 – Karolina Baran (F), 18, KS Cracovia 1906 (10, +1)

Baran had quite the season in the PLHK B league. She recorded 27 points (18-9-27) in 16 games. Her total was second in the league only to teammate Martyna Solorz. Baran almost doubled her 14 point total from last year in two fewer games. The former UKH Debica youth player also represented Poland at the U18s, recording seven shots and zero points. She was very strong at the Olympics hope tournament though and even scored versus Slovakia. Baran looked up to par against much tougher opponents. She should be a substantial part of the bottom six for the national team for years to come.

8 – Wiktoria Gogoc (D), 20, Silesia Brackens, (5, -3)

Gogoc falls in our ranking but remains one of the best defensemen Poland has. Her fall is more to do with the number of other defensemen that impressed me this year, along with the depth in net improving significantly. Gogoc spent most of her year with the Silesia Brackens in the EWHL, there she recorded two assists in 12 games. I think she is one of the players that needed to gain some experience against tougher opponents the most. She handled it very well, and I was excited to see how she would perform at the World Championships, but alas, we won’t get a chance to.

Nevertheless, Gogoc has a long future for team Poland, possibly on the top line of the defense.

giphy

7 – Alicja Wcisło (D), 20, KH Polonia Bytom, (14, +7)

Wcisło is, without a doubt, the most offensively talented defensemen Poland has in their system right now. She was able to post substantial numbers in both the EWHL and PLHKA A. In PLHK A, she had 23 points (13-10-23) in 16 games. This was triple her total from last season in the PLHK A. In the EWHL, Wcisło put up four goals and two assists in 14 games. This was tied for sixth on the Silesia Brackens and top 20 for defensemen overall in the EWHL. Wcisło and Gogoc could easily form the top pair on Poland’s defense for a long time.

Players #6-4

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2020 Top 30 Women’s U20 Players. #14-10

While this is not the time when I initially wanted to start this list, as I was hoping to have the Women’s World Championships to help distinguish some players at the top of the list. The coronavirus outbreak has effectively canceled or postponed all tournaments for the year.

This really is a bummer for Polish hockey with the amount of young talent they have at their disposal. It definitely seemed liked Poland had a chance to earn promotion at this year’s senior world championship. Women’s hockey in Poland is vastly on the rise with more players each year and a quick ability to develop players that are able to compete outside of Poland in stronger leagues. The talent pool has evolved so quickly that we have doubled our list size from last year. There is still a tremendous amount of work to be done, but the future is bright. Today we continue our 2020 ranking of the top 30 U20 Women’s players in Poland.

A player has to be 20 or younger on March 13th, 2020. There is no minimum age to make the list. Players are judged based on a combination of career history, current play, and potential.

Players #30-20

Players #19-15

Rank – Player Name (Position), Age During Next Hockey Season, Team (Ranking in 2019, change in ranking)

14 – Malgorzata Synowiec (F), 20, KS Cracovia 1906, (Unranked)

Synowiec has steadily continued to improve her game. She appears to be on the brink of making her senior IIHF national team debut, as she has played two games with the Silesia Brackens and played in a couple non-IIHF games for the senior team. This year Snyowiec did not appear in the PLHK A, and instead went to the B league to play for Cracovia. There she had 26 points (18-8-26) in 8 games. This was third in the league for points, and the top in points per game. She is also an accomplished ice cross athlete.

13 – Ida Talanda (RW), 17, KH Polonia Bytom, (15, +2)

The first player rise in our ranking this year is Ida Talanda. Talanda made her senior debut in the PLHK A this year and put up a very promising rookie year. She recorded 15 points (6-9-15) in 16 games. That is top 20 in the league. That performance helped Polonia Bytom to their first-place finish. At the U18s, she showed a lot of promise as well and recorded three shots. She will be a key part of the U18 squad next year.

12 – Alicja Siejka (F), 20, GKS Stoczniowiec Gdańsk, (13, +1)

Siejka was a standout for Poland at the 2018 U18s leading the team in points. She followed that up with her senior IIHF debut and posted a career year in the PLHK A. This year she improved on that year again for Gdańsk, recording 26 points (14-12-15) in 16 games. She also appeared in two games for the Silesia Brackens. Siejka is a key forward that should help strengthen Poland’s forward group.

11 – Vanessa Patla (D), 18, KH Polonia Bytom, (Unranked)

Patla was one of the best defensemen for Poland at the U18s. She recorded one goal on eight shots. Patla also had a solid year for Polonia Bytom recording 1 goal and 5 assists in 18 games. The promising defensemen also got one game in the Elite Women’s Hockey League. She was impressive at both ends of the ice this season. Poland already had a few solid defensemen and prospects like Patla further show how strong this group is becoming.

10 – Maja Błaszków (F), 17, KH Polonia Bytom, (11, +1)

Błaszków was named to her third straight U18 squad. In five games, she recorded one goal on eight shots. She continues her steady improvement and is easily one of the top forwards under 18 forwards for Poland. Her jumps have not mirrored many of her counterparts in size. While many players have grown so quickly they have been able to achieve great success at the senior level, Błaszków only played two senior games in the PLHK A. She remains a strong and dangerous forward.

Players #9-7

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2020 Top 30 Women’s U20 Players. #19-15

While this is not the time when I initially wanted to start this list, as I was hoping to have the Women’s World Championships to help distinguish some players at the top of the list. The coronavirus outbreak has effectively canceled or postponed all tournaments for the year.

This really is a bummer for Polish hockey with the amount of young talent they have at their disposal. It definitely seemed liked Poland had a chance to earn promotion at this year’s senior world championship. Women’s hockey in Poland is vastly on the rise with more players each year and a quick ability to develop players that are able to compete outside of Poland in stronger leagues. The talent pool has evolved so quickly that we have doubled our list size from last year. There is still a tremendous amount of work to be done, but the future is bright. Today we continue our 2020 ranking of the top 30 U20 Women’s players in Poland.

A player has to be 20 or younger on March 13th, 2020. There is no minimum age to make the list. Players are judged based on a combination of career history, current play, and potential.

Players #30-20

Rank – Player Name (Position), Age During Next Hockey Season, Team (Ranking in 2019, change in ranking)

19 – Zofia Postel (D), 18, UKH Białe Jastrzębie, (Unranked)

Postel was a newcomer to Poland’s strong defensive front at the U18s. Postel has not been able to be tested in the PLHK A yet, playing with Jastrzębie in the B league. There she recorded 4 points (2-2-4) in 13 games. I don’t believe she looked too out of place at the U18s and would like to see more of her at the top level. Her development reminds me a lot of the development of Karolina Rostalska.

18 – Alicja Kobus (F), 16, PTH Kozice Poznań, (9, -9)

Kobus really excelled in PLHK B last year, but had a rough U18s with her only statistic not being a 0 was her plus-minus at -5. This year she showed a vast improvement at the U18s and adjusted well in the PLHK A recording 8 points (5-3-8) in 10 games. While size is not everything, the last U18 tournament showed how big of a disadvantage it can be. Kobus was one of the top five tallest players on team Poland at 5’7. Her drop was more due to a few players just have larger jumps.

17 – Anna Kot (D), 16, UKHK Unia Oświęcim, (12, -5

Kot was apart of the impressive defensive group for Poland at the U18s. I was a bit concerned about the defense coming into the tournament, but she was one of the defensemen that grew a lot and assisted the unit in becoming very good, even the strength of the team. Her offensive side could still use some growth, but her size and defensive ability make her a valuable part of team Poland.

16 – Klaudia Kaleja (F), 20, KH Polonia Bytom, (6, -10)

In her U18 career, Kaleja was a force to be reckoned with recording 9 goals in 19 U18 games. She was also recorded a PLHK A season with a 2 point per game average. Since then though her production has continued to decline. This year recording a PLHK A career-low with a 1.28 point per game. She did get some time in with the Silesia Brackens in the EWHL. There she recorded 1 goal in 3 games. Poland has to hope that Kaleja can still become the goal scorer she showed she could once be.

15 – Katarzyna Wybiral (F), 20, Silesia Brackens, (Unranked) 

Wybiral was a key part of the Silesia Brackens this season. She recorded 2 assists in 14 games. She also has been apart of the last two senior national teams as well. In the PLHK A, she recorded 9 points (3-6-9) in 14 games for KH Polonia Bytom. Wybiral has picked up a lot of great experience this season and that should aid her development.

Players #14-10

If you want to keep up with all the offseason news, make sure to follow us on Twitter @PolandHockey and like our Facebook page.

2020 Top 30 Women’s U20 Players. #30-20

While this is not the time when I initially wanted to start this list, as I was hoping to have the Women’s World Championships to help distinguish some players at the top of the list. The coronavirus outbreak has effectively canceled or postponed all tournaments for the year.

This really is a bummer for Polish hockey with the amount of young talent they have at their disposal. It definitely seemed liked Poland had a chance to earn promotion at this year’s senior world championship. Women’s hockey in Poland is vastly on the rise with more players each year and a quick ability to develop players that are able to compete outside of Poland in stronger leagues. The talent pool has evolved so quickly that we have doubled our list size from last year. There is still a tremendous amount of work to be done, but the future is bright. Today we start our 2020 ranking of the top 30 U20 Women’s players in Poland.

A player has to be 20 or younger on March 13th, 2020. There is no minimum age to make the list. Players are judged based on a combination of career history, current play, and potential.

Honorable Mentions (In No Order): Aleksandra Górska, Antonina Puchowska, Wiktoria Kedra, and Julia Grzelak

Rank – Player Name (Position), Age During Next Hockey Season, Team (Ranking in 2019, change in ranking)

30 – Adriana Solecka (RW), 19, SKKH Atomówki GKS Tychy, (Unranked)

Solecka returned to Tychy this year after playing with Janow for the past two seasons. After recording 0 points in 9 games with Janow in the PLHK A, she put up 5 points (2-3-5) in 14 games for Tychy. After some time apart, she is appearing to become a solid forward for Tychy.

29 – Julia Zaborowska (D), 17, KH Polonia Bytom, (Unranked)

Zaborowska made her IIHF debut this year for Poland at the U18s as part of a very good defensive core. I can’t recall her doing any bad, but also nothing that really stood out, which is probably best for a non-offensive defenseman. Her season in Poland was not much either as she only played three games for Polonia.

28 – Olga Jaskulska (F), 15, GKS Stoczniowiec Gdańsk, (Unranked)

Jaskulska was able to earn a larger role in Gdańsk this year and recorded her first three assists in the top Polish women’s league. She also was able to slightly up her production at the junior level from 11 points (7-4-13) to 13 points (7-6-13). Jaskulska is still a very young player, and her play at the top level shows some potential. She will most likely be able to earn a spot on the U18 squad in the coming years.

27 – Katarzyna Zaborska (D), 17, UKHK Unia Oświęcim, (Unranked)

Zaborska looked a lot better at the U18s this year, and well I don’t really believe in plus-minus, she was one of only three Polish players to finish positive. She also had a much stronger season for Oświęcim finishing with 5 points (4-1-5) in 15 games, compared to 3 points (1-2-3) in 17 games last season. I feel she could be a solid two-way player for Poland.

26 – Justyna Zyla (F), 15, UKHK Unia Oświęcim, (Unranked)

The youngest and second smallest player on Poland’s U18 squad was impressive at times during the U18s. While her stat sheet was pretty blank with only one shot, she showed she should definitely be back on team Poland next year. She also notched two goals for Oświęcim, during her club season.

25 – Karolina Rostalska (D), 19, UKH Białe Jastrzębie, (16, -9)

Karolina has one of the biggest drops from the list last year. Last year she had an okay showing at the U18s aided by a strong season with UKH Białe Jastrzębie. This year her production dropped by 6 points and her penalty minutes tripled. Along with the number of defenders that impressed at the U18s, her drop was inevitable.

24 – Alicja Kopciara (F), 18, SKKH Atomówki GKS Tychy, (8, -16)

Kopciara had drops in production at both the U18 level and with Tychy. After posting 3 points (2-1-3) at the U18s last year, this year she went pointless at the event. Kopciara was a force last year in the PLHK with 9 goals in 17 games, but only recorded 2 goals in 4 games this year. A lack of production at the u18s and lack of playing during the regular season are the reasons for her drop, but she remains a very strong goal scorer.

23 – Alicja Mota (F), 16, KH Polonia Bytom, (Unranked)

The soon to be 16-year-old is already a three time champion in Poland with Polonia Bytom. Mota posted career highs in games played, goals, assists, and points this year with Polonia after recording 5 points (2-3-5) in 15 games. She also represented Poland at the U18s, but only recorded 4 penalty minutes. She showed some potential at the tournament but was too often overmatched. She also represented Poland at the youth Olympics.

22 – Alicja Sowa (F), 16, KH Polonia Bytom, (Unraked) 

Sowa was apart of the worst line at the 2019 U18s, but that was not the case in 2020. Her play drastically improved, though Poland was much better defensively overall. Sowa’s biggest jump came with Polonia. This year she recorded 8 points (1-7-8) in 15 games to help Polonia to first place. This was after she was pointless in 10 games the previous year.

21 – Julia Łapińska (F), 15, GKS Stoczniowiec Gdańsk, (Unranked)

At just 14 years old, Lapinska was able to finish top 25 in PLHK scoring. She had a great year for Gdańsk recording 13 points (6-7-13) in 10 games. This included good performances at the junior level as well. She is very short at 4’9 and likely her height contributed to her being left off the U18 squad, but I have no doubt if she keeps up her production she will make the team next year.

20 – Magdalena Łąpieś (F), 14, GKS Stoczniowiec Gdańsk, (Unranked)

Lapies legit turns 14 on March 15th, the 13-year-old finished top 15 in PLHK scoring with 24 points (8-16-24) in 15 games. Lapies comes out of a promising Lodz youth hockey program that is continuing to pump out a lot of great talent. She has produced at a strong rate anywhere she has gone. She will likely be joining the Polish U18 squad very soon.

Players #19-15

If you want to keep up with all the offseason news, make sure to follow us on Twitter @PolandHockey and like our Facebook page.