We are now in the top 20 of the rankings. In this group of players, we see many who have already surpassed the U18 squad and are now moving on to trying to make the senior national team. Whether they will be able to make the national team and then make impact on the ice remains to be seen. What is for sure, all these players are guaranteed to be stars in the PLHK.
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.
20 – Aleksandra Górska (F), 18, Atomowki Tychy (39, +19)
I don’t think anyone had a larger increase in year-to-year production this year than Górska. The Tychy forward went from one point in 12 games to 28 points in 18. Her 20 goals saw her tied, with teammate Sylwia Laskawska, for the 11th most goals among all skaters in the PLHK. A lot of her damage did come right in the front the net, you like to see players bury those. At the same time, scoring chances like that are fewer and far between against stronger teams. Overall that massive production increase during her final U18 season was impressive. She made the Polish U18 squad playing all four games and recording three shots at the September tournament.
19 – Wiktoria Kedra (D), 19, Atomowki Tychy, (31, +12)
The steady stay-at-home defenseman played a career-high in games for Tychy this year with 18 while scoring a goal and assisting on one. Kedra will be an impactful player in the PLHK, but her hockey sense and skating will need to continue to make strides if she wants to work her way up the national team given her limited offensive upside. That defensive hockey sense will probably get quite the jump as she is playing for Metropolis Katowice in the EWHL in 2023. Expereince against stronger teams is the best way for her to hone her promising defensive skills.
18 – Wiktoria Kierc (F), 17, UKH Biale Jastrzebie (36, +18)
Kierc has always shown flashes of offensive potential but really broke out this year with 24 points in 15 games. Her point total was second on UKH Biale Jastrzebie and saw her involved in 57% of the team’s total goals in the regular season. It was also tenth among all U20 skaters in points. With Jastzrbie not competing in 2023, Kierc is moving over to Tychy. It will be interesting to see how her production is impacted. While Jastzrbie was mostly void of talent, Tychy features some of the top PLHK scorers. This will be her first season outside Jastzrbie.
17 – Alicja Mota (F), 18, Polonia Bytom, (22, +5)
Mota has continued to work her way up the Polonia Bytom lineup and is becoming a considerable threat to drive offense. This year across the regular season and playoffs, she came up big with 19 points (5G-14A-19PTS) in just 12 games. Her 1.58 point per game average was tenth among all U20 skaters in the PLHK. Mota also represented the Polish U18 squad for the third time in her career. In 4 games, she posted a single assist and seven shots there. While Poland suffered offesnively as a whole in the tournament, Mota is a player I would have liked to see make more of an impact. Still, Mota should immediately be on the shortlist for senior national team opportunities.
16 – Alicja Kobus (F), 18, PTH Kozice Poznan, (13, -3)
Kobus experiences a slight dip, partly due to some significant risers. With Poznan this year, she posted 22 points in 20 games. These numbers are a tad down from some of her previous top-scoring years when Poznan participated in the PLHK B. She also represented Poland at the U18s this September. At the U18s, Kobus recorded zero points and just four shots. She is another player I had a bit higher hopes for, given her veteran status and past play. For 2023, she is with Gdansk, which should be a much better environment for growth and help her unlock the potential she has shown flashes of in the past.
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