Tag: Anna Kot

2021 Top 30 Women’s U20 Players. #20-16

We are now in the top 20 of the rankings. This group features one of the biggest risers and one of the highest new additions to the list. Compared to the men’s list, there is a lot of shake-up in the top 20 section. While most of this, I’ll attribute to covid years, quite a few young players really shot up the rankings. 

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)

20 – Alicja Sowa (F), 17, Polonia Bytom, (22, +2

Polonia Bytom players are sometimes hard to fully judge on stats due to the stacked nature of the team, especially with the number of veterans. Last year, Sowa’s numbers were down but she still managed three assists in eight games. She also scored her first career goal in Poland’s U16 league with Polonia Bytom. She likely would have been named to her third straight U18 squad if not for the tournament cancellation. Sowa will still be eligible for the U18s in 2022. 

19 – Julia Bujak (G), 18, Polonia Bytom, (Not Ranked)

Bujak jumps high on the list after she was likely to be the starting goalie for Poland at this year’s U18. There was not a lot to go on for young goalies last year. In both of her PLHK A appearances, she only played a combined 30 minutes but didn’t allow a goal in that time. She did play in two men’s u16 league games as well, allowing 16 goals, in matches Polonia Bytom lost 35-7. Again, there’s not much to say about a season with zero recorded full games. Throughout the year, Bujak was named to multiple U18 national teams battling for the number 1 spot but did not play in the games. Latvia. 

18 – Zofia Postel (D), 19, UKH Biale Jastrzebie, (19, +1)

 Zofia Postel moves up a spot on the list in her final year. The two-way defender followed her strong 2020 season with a similar 2021, posting seven assists in 13 games. It was a career-high in points, but the first season she failed to score a goal in the PLHK. Four of her assists were also primary assists, a new career-high. Her size will always work against her, and skating will need to improve, but she showed a lot of great reads and passing ability this year. Making those key passes and breakouts already put her ahead of many Polish defensewomen. 

17 – Anna Kot (D), 17, Unia Oswiecim, (17, +0)

Kot is staying even with her ranking this year. Kot is one of the best U18 defenders in Poland, and its a shame she has missed out on two U18 tournaments. She will turn 18 at the beginning of next year too, so 2022 will be her final U18 team appearance. She did play in Poland U18’s two games against Latvia U18, picking up one assist. In her PLHK season, Kot recorded one assist in 11 games. In the playoffs, her production picked up with two goals and an assist in five games. A rising star in the Polish ranks, expect to start watching her for some senior chances in just the next couple of years. 

Anna Kot Shot and Assist vs Latvia U18

16 – Justyna Zyla (F), 16, Unia Oswiecim (26, +10

From one Osiwiecim player to the next on our list. Zyla has long been playing in high-level situations at such a young age, and during the 2020-21 season, she had her breakout year. Oswiecim was the lowest-scoring team in PLHK A, but Zyla still managed a new career-high in points with two goals and assist in 12 games, and then five goals in five games during the PLHK playoffs. Add in a solid junior season, and Zyla really started to show she is ready for top-line chances. This included what would have been her second U18 tournament last year, but she will be another player to miss multiple U18s due to the pandemic.

Justyna Zyla Goal vs. Latvia

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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

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