Tag: Amelia Bula

2022 Top 50 Women’s U20 Players. #30-21

After much delay, we are back to ranking the top women’s U20 players from the 2022 season. This group is starting to show the potential depth that Poland has developed. There still remains a massive gap between the leaders of Poland and the rest of the team, but we are seeing that gap close more and more. Especially when you look at this group, some players might join that top group of forwards.

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.

Players 50-31

30 – Weronika Huchel (F), 15, Atomowki Tychy (40, +10

Huchel had a significant stock-raising year. After a pointless regular season in 2021, she stepped up with seven goals and five assists in 18 games. Huchel suited up for the U18 squad throughout the year. Her strong performance in the PLHK and non-IIHF events made her make the Polish U18 squad for the September tournament. This was her first appearance for Poland U18 and made her a lock for the 2023 tournament. She possesses very solid puck-control skills and offensive awareness.

Huchel Goal vs. Jastrzębie. PLHK

29  – Anna Sencerz (F), 14, Stoczniowiec Gdansk (NR) 

Sencerz might be the next young breakout star of Gdansk. The young forward had 10 points (3G-7A-10PTS) in 14 games, and she added two more points in six playoff games. Her 12 total points finished tied for sixth among all U18 players. Easily someone who immediately jumps on the list of forwards to start watching to be leaders for the U18 squad.

28 – Nikola Isztok (D), 15, KS Cracovia 1906 (35, +7)

Isztok has jumped on the radar recently and seems to possess the potential to be an impactful national team defenseman. She looked good at the U18s in her first IIHF appearance. During her club season, she posted a goal and three assists in 12 games for Cracovia. Her impressive season at 14 earned her a chance with Polonia Bytom. Isztok should undoubtedly be one of the leading defensemen on the U18 squad going forward. She could be the quarterback the Polish powerplay needs.

Isztok assist vs. Spain. International Exhibition

27 – Julia Bujak (G), 18, Polonia Bytom, (19, -8

The ability to judge goalies in Poland is challenging. You barely get any playing time to see a goalie play. Bujak appeared in three games this year for Polonia Bytom, playing 30 minutes in two games and 50 minutes in the other. She stopped 20 of the 21 shots she faced in that limited action for a .952 save percentage. She made the Polish U18 squad as a backup but did not see any action. Still, Bujak slides into the second-highest-ranked goalie spot on our list. She did start for Poland at non-IIHF games and put in a decent performance at an exhibition tournament in Iceland, stopping 65 shots in three games.

Julia Bujak save vs. Iceland. International Exhibition

26 – Amelia Bula (F), 18, Naprzod Janow, (30, +4

Bula has steadily improved her offensive production in the PHLK. After 12 points in 15 games last year, she averaged over a point per game this year with 18 points in 15 games. Her 14 regular season goals were tied for eighth among U20 skaters. She joined Unia Oswiecim for the playoffs and recorded two goals and three assists in six games. Bula was also finally able to make her IIHF debut, playing four games at the Division 1 Group B World Championships. Given her age, I was hoping she would be an offensive leader for the team, but she recorded zero points or shots during the tournament.  

Bula goal vs. Iceland. International Exhibition

25 – Weronika Świątek (F), 14, PTH Kozice Poznan (NR) 

Świątek makes her debut on the list after a great season at just 13 years old. She was a crucial part of the five forwards that helped the Poznan offense stay afloat. In 2022, she scored ten goals and assisted on nine in 16 games. She is moving over to Gdansk for the 2022-23 season; hopefully, that should continue to add to her development. 

24 – Agata Cybulska (F), 14,  PTH Kozice Poznan (NR) 

Cybulska was another key young player for Poznan and had a fantastic year at just 13 years old. In 22 games, she scored nine goals and assisted on 15. That is a tremendous year and looks to paint a bright picture for the future. Now a bit of that production probably won’t continue on a stronger team, as she wouldn’t play as much due to stronger talent. Still, Cybulska is another solid piece to watch for Poland’s future. 

Cybulsak goal vs. Podhale. PLHK

23 – Julia Grzelak (D), 18, Stoczniowiec Gdansk (41, +18) 

Grezlak will not play in 2022-23 with Gdansk to focus on her studies. It is a shame, as she had a massive breakout season to drive up our rankings. She posted 13 goals in just 14 games during the regular season, but only recorded a single assist in six games in the playoffs. I wanted to see more of her in 2023 to see which was the true season and how high the ceiling was. 

22 – Katarzyna Zaborska (D), 19, Unia Oswiecim (15, -7

Zaborska found herself in a good spot last year and played in 13 games with Metropolis Katowice in the EWHL. She fell down the depth chart in 2022 and only played two games with Poland’s EWHL club. She spent most of her season with Unia Oswiecim, where she posted a new career high of eight points (4G-4A-8PTS) in 17 games. A solid defenseman with two-way potential, I think she will begin to be on the cusp of the national teams’ defensive depth.

21 – Olga Jaskulska (F), 17, Stoczniowiec Gdansk, (26, +5)

A much improved year for Jaskulska, as she went from just two PLHK points to 17. During the regular season, she averaged a point per game with 16 points (7G-9A-16PTS) in 16 games. She would add one more goal to her total during three playoff games. She will be focusing on her studies this upcoming year and not be with Gdansk. 

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2021 Top 30 Women’s U20 Players. #30-21

We are finally beginning the women’s list for the 2021 season. I debated a lot about if I should make a list this year. For women’s hockey during the 2020-2021 season, there was a 12 game PLHK season, along with maybe five playoff games. A few top players also have the EWHL season and national team games. At most, you have around a 35 game season if a player played in every single one of those games, which for U20 players was not the case. We are working with a highly limited number of games, especially ones on film, to rank players on. While I never like to judge players on A single international events, IIHF events give us five games with footage where young players had a chance to play. It can represent one-third or more of a competitive season for a U18 player.  

I wanted to make a list this year, as every single time Poland’s women team faces a new roadblock, they still find a way to grow. We had some great years and break-out seasons in the PLHK, along with a few players taking large career jumps. I will say take these rankings with more than a grain of salt. I am heavily relying on stats, limited footage, and a few outside opinions. I never intend for my rankings to be material for scouting, but more like a who to watch list for fans.

Players had to be under 20 on June 30th, 2021. 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. While most of the ranking is my opinion, numerous Polish hockey people contributed their thoughts on players. Ninety-five players were considered for the list and reviewed, and fifty players received a ranking. Players 50-31 will be revealed at the end of the series in the breakdown article. Only the top 30 players receive a report.

Rank – Player Name (Position), Age During Next Hockey Season, Team (Ranking in 2020, change in rankings)

30 – Amelia Bula (RW), 17, Naprzod Janow, (Not Ranked)

Bula has continued her steady offensive production increase reaching a new career-high in goals with nine in 15 games. Bula’s five goals in PLHK B found her tied for 12th among all skaters in the league. In total, she added three assists for a new career-high in points with 12. The goal-scoring right-winger would have undoubtedly made her first appearance on Poland’s U18 squad. She was named to the initial tournament but will be aged out for next year if the tournament is not rescheduled. 

Bula goal vs Latvia U18

29 – Alicja Kopciara (F), 19,  Unia Oswiecim, (24, -5)

Kopciara takes another fall in the rankings. As the forward gets closer and closer to graduating from the list, their production has not increased as you would like to see from a veteran of the PLHK at this point. With just two goals in PLHK A, it was the lowest total of her career. She did add three goals and two assists in five PLHK playoff games. A player that can hang with the best of them in Poland, but may not be a national team level forward yet. 

Alicja Kopciara Goal vs Cracovia

28 –  Karolina Rostalska (D), 20, UKH Biale Jastrzebie (25, -3)

Rostalska takes a slight fall on the list again. After a breakout year in 2019 with 11 points, her production has decreased in both years since, and not something you want to see from a player gaining more experience. In total, she had two goals and three assists in 15 games. Of course, they’re also a defensewoman, so I don’t want to judge them on production, but it was also what happened to get them ranked so highly previously. Has above average height for the PLHK and uses her long reach for easy takeaways at times.

Rostalska Goal vs Podhale

27 – Adriana Solecka (RW), 19, Atomowki Tychy (30, +3

I feel for the players on Tychy in 2021, as there was not much to work with at times. In total, the team only scored 14 goals. A fifth of those goals involved Solecka, who finished with a goal and two assists in 12 games. Not a great year, but she kept pace with the previous production while her team went from 19 goals to 14. Her three points this year were third on Tychy. Again another player where stats don’t tell their whole story. 

Solecka goal vs Oswiecim

26 – Anna Zaborska (F), 19, Unia Oswiecim, (Not Ranked)

Zaborska has steadily earned more and more in Oswiecim, and she is now becoming a more reliable option on the offensive side. During the 2021 season, Zaborska set a new career-high with four points (3G-1A-4PTS) in 12 games. She would also add another goal and two assists in five PLHK playoff games. The Krakow native is primed to earn a lot more chances for the 2022 season. 

Zaborska Goal vs Cracovia

25 – Olga Jaskulska (F), 16, Stoczniowiec Gdansk, (28, +3) 

Jaskulska switched over to the Gdansk organization full time in 2021 after appearing for UKS Wikingowie Elbląg and Gdansk in 2020. In total, she posted two assists in seven games, which is slightly below her production in 2021. She also played ten games with the men’s Stoczniowiec Gdansk u18 team scoring one goal. Most likely will be a U18 appointment soon, possibly next season. 

24 – Patrycja Wójcik (D), 16, Polonia Bytom, (Not Ranked) 

Wójcik is someone I was hoping to see at the U18s. I have heard a lot of great things, with one person telling me they were a guaranteed national team defender soon. That seemed to be proving true this year after rejoining Polonia Bytom after a season in Janow. Playing for the best team in Poland’s women division in a solid defensive role is a good sign for one’s future. While we don’t judge players on anything that happened after June 30, getting chances on Metropolis Katowice is a good sign for how the national team sees her. She played 11 games in Polonia Bytom, with 25 games in the juniors. 

Wójcik shot and assist vs Latvia

23 – Zuzanna Rduch (F), 18, UKH Biale Jastrzebie (Not Ranked) 

Rduch has continued to establish herself as one of the best offensive options on Jastzrebie. This year she posted another career-high in points with 32 (21G-11A-32PTS) in 15 games across the PLHK B and C. Her 32 points ere the second-most points among all B league players and tied for second in goals.

Rduch Goal vs Podhale

Jasztrzebie was one of the few teams I was able to watch a lot of film on this year, even if only random highlights. In those highlights, though Rduch and Szymik were an amazing duo. Rduch likely would have had a shot at making the U18 squad last year, but unfortunately had already aged out for this year.

Rduch Rush down the ice vs. Cracovia

22 – Alicja Mota (F), 17, Polonia Bytom, (23, +1

This is where having to rely on statistics hurts a lot. Mota is a young talented forward on a powerhouse team in Polonia Bytom. Offensive chances may be few and far between, and she did get a few opportunities on the second line but was mostly relegated to the third or bottom line. The Ruda Slaska native saw her production drop from five points in 14 games to two in 11. Mota has a lot of talent and would have continued to work her way up the U18 squad roster. She likely missed two U18 IIHF tournaments due to covid. In some games to end the year with the U18 squad, she recorded two goals and an assist versus Latvia.

Mota goal vs Latvia

21 – Matylda Stępień (F), 13, PTH Kozice Poznan, (Not Ranked) 

Every year a player on the list makes me feel old. That title goes to Matylda Stępień, who was born in 2008. At just 12-years-old, they were able to post 23 points (15G-8A-23PTS) in 15 games. This was their rookie senior season as well. The Warszawa native also played for the Warszawa men’s junior team recording three goals and three assists in seven games. I hope they are on a path similar to that of Magdalena Łąpieś.

Stępień Goal vs Podhale

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