Tag: Helena Grzybowska

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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The Scoring Struggle. 5 Thoughts 2020 Women’s U18 D1B World Championship

Coming into this hockey year, I predicted that both of the Polish women’s team would be able to earn promotion during 2020. Poland’s U18 team had a roster that featured almost everyone returning from the previous year. The key players were taking more huge steps in their careers and gaining valuable experience. My prediction did not occur, as Poland struggled to generate any offense during the tournament. On the final day, the offense would explode with five goals to keep Poland from being relegated. It was the best Poland played all-tournament, but how did the rest of the tournament go?

Attack on Titans

There was a huge size difference in this tournament for Poland. Going by average height, Poland was the second smallest team in this tournament. It was very noticeable at times as taller opponents were just able to push through Polish defenders. It is something that Poland can’t really fix either. It was by no means the disadvantage that lost Poland games, but it was certainly a big hurdle.

Standout Schramm

Iga Schramm made her fourth and final appearance for the Polish U18 squad and she did fantastic. She recorded two goals and two assists, which tied Sikorska for the team lead. She looked very confident rushing the puck and had a solid shot. Schramm was second on team Poland in shots with 21. The Poznan center was great in the faceoff draw as well. Schramm appears to be another solid piece towards Poland’s future.

Best In Net. Best My Chemical Romance Song.

Helena Grzybowska had an absolute standout performance in net. She faced the second-most shots in the tournament and finished with the second-highest save percentage at .948. She kept Poland in every single game of this tournament and absolutely proved that Sass is not Poland’s only goalie capable of starting. Every part of her game was impressive.

Sikorska’s Off Tournament

Wiktoria Sikorska served as captain for Poland at this tournament. It was obvious to anyone watching that she was the best player on the ice for Poland. In her first trip to the U18s she had five points, last year she had ten points, this year only four points. In a tournament, where Poland needed scoring badly their best player did not produce as expected. Sikorska will be able to represent Poland at one more U18 tournament next year.

[highlights] GREAT BRITAIN - POLAND 1_5

A Moral Victory

I don’t believe in moral victories in sports. This tournament was as close as they come through in my opinion. Poland took Austria to overtime and battled hard with Norway.

This team and sport is making progress in Poland. Their performances are getting better and better by a wide margin every year. They played so well defensively that if they were just a fraction better on offense we would be talking about Poland’s first gold medal team of the 2019-20 season.

Quick Thoughts

– This was one of the best defensive performances by any Polish team in recent memory. They were very good limiting at high danger chances.

– Julia Zielinska had some ups and downs this tournament, but her highs showed why she is the future of Poland on defense

– Ida Talanda has some potential and could make for an interesting prospect.

– eight departures from the team are coming, most of them having spent two or three tournaments on the U18 squad. Both goalies are also leaving. This will be a really different team next year and Poland women’s hockey will hopefully show a lot of growth.

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