Leading up to the start of 2019-20 season, we will preview every team in the PHL.
Last year KH Torun had a really great run during the PHL regular season that saw them capture sixth place just a year after being promoted. They even battled Cracovia Krakow at some points for the fifth spot. A big part of this was the explosive Russian offensive trio of Daniil Orekhin, Robert Korchokha, and Semyon Garshin. That trio all departed for Zaglebie Sosnowiec in the offseason though. KH Torun also saw two valuable import defensemen leave in Tomas Parizek and Maxim Kamenkov. This left Torun with a lot of holes to plug on their roster. They brought in a Polish star to fill one, and a whole Russian army to fill the others.
Before we start a lot of players are on try-outs. I will fully mark the roster on who I think are the best players in camp, contract status will not currently affect rankings.
Bartosz Fraszko – Dmitri Teslenko – Danila Bogush
Jaroslaw Dolega – Michal Kalinowski – Daniel Minge
Yegor Feofanov – Dominik Olszewski – Jakub Jaworski
Piotr Naparlo – Gleb Bondaruk – Vladislav Sokolov
Other forwards: Artyom Sadretdinov, Alexander Volzhankin, Filip Mazurkiewicz, Vadim Ageyev, and Vadim Artemyev.
Bartosz Fraszko is truly the most essential player on Torun’s roster. There is no doubt in my mind with the ice time and chances he’ll receive in Torun he maybe one of the top scorers in the PHL, helping replace the production of the Russian trio. The if on Fraszko is will he have linemates that will help him get there. Of the imports trying out for Torun, Dmitri Teslenko and Danila Bogush really stuck out to me as two players that really have some potential to provide offense in the PHL. Fraszko and Teslenko are 23 and Bogush is 21, making it a really young top line, but fast and skilled as well. Jaroslaw Dolega (37) and Daniel Minge (30) should both be able to provide some veteran leadership and nice secondary scoring. Michal Kalinowski has had some productive seasons in his career but cooled off lately. He should still be a solid part of the team’s middle-six forward group. Dominik Olszewski is a promising prospect, who I want to see take on some more significant roles. Of the six Torun players on my top 80 U23 board, he was the highest at 45. Overall there is a star player, some solid players, and some big chances on imports. If those chances payoff, Torun should have no problem repeating their previous success.
Adrian Jaworski – Eetu Moksunen
Artyom Smirnov – Mateusz Zielinski
Bartosz Skolmowski – Dmitri Kozlov
Other defensemen: Mikhail Syroyezhkin and Stanislav Kandzyuba
Update 8/15: Eetu Moksunen did not receive a contract from his tryout.
This defense may not feature any stars, but I wouldn’t say anyone is out of place. Eetu Moksunen had some nice moments with Podhale last year but dropped off as the season went on. Adrian Jaworski is, in my opinion, one of the most underrated young defensemen in Poland. He plays a nice two-way game and could develop into a top guy. Artyom Smirnov is quite an interesting import. He has served as the captain for multiple junior teams and had moderate success in the third tier of Russian hockey. This defense could use more talent, but it isn’t going to handcuff the team.
Patrik Spesny was great for Torun last year. He is precisely what Torun needs in the back of the net given their lack of a great defense. Spesny is also still very young at only 23-years-old, meaning we might have only seen a glimpse of what he is capable of.
It was tough to pick who was finishing second to last on my list. I feel this season in the PHL there are three tiers of teams. The top tier of four championship contenders, the second tier of five mid-level teams, and then the bottom tier of Janow and PZHL u23. That mid-level tier is were Torun is. The standings between these teams will most likely be decided by one or two games. It is a very competitive group, where concerns about the defense and too many import forwards that may underperform have them finishing 9th. This is the ranking that I believe will most likely be wrong.