The march into the top ten continues as we reach the top five and those who just missed out. While this article features our player with the highest debut season on the list, we also start to get into a few players who have remained at the top of the list throughout the years. We are also now starting to reach more players who spent their 2021 season outside of Poland.
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)
7 – Julia Skręt (F), 16, Polonia Bytom, (Not Ranked)
Skręt’s career continues to rise just like her ranking, which is the highest debut ranking this year. A strong performance with Janow in the PLHK B led to her joining the powerhouse that is Polonia Bytom. The talented young forward would record three goals and one assist in 15 games across the regular season and playoffs. She spent most of her time during the year in the juniors with UKS Zagłębie Sosnowiec at the Młodzik ŚZHL (U16) level.
Her strong performance in Poland and potential led to the Tychy native going abroad and joining Södertälje SK in Sweden. They are one of the best women’s teams in Sweden’s second division. The same league where other Polish stars like Kamila Wieczorek, Olivia Tomczak, and Wiktoria Sikorska applied their trade. Skręt will be the youngest Polish skater to ever appear in the league.
6 – Ida Talanda (RW), 18, Polonia Bytom, (13, +7)
Talanda is Poland’s best-kept secret. While other players have received interest or made headlines due to going abroad, Talanda has stayed in Poland and flourished. The Krynica native has long been ready for senior hockey, waiting for that special breakout moment. I feel she definitely came close to that in 2021, being only one of two U18 players that played with Metropolis Katowice in the EWHL. There she played 14 games and recorded one assist. In Poland, she recorded a career-high of 18 points (12G-6A-18PTS) in 15 games for Polonia Bytom. Her regular-season 11 points were tenth among all skaters.
5 – Iga Schramm (F), 19, Neuchâtel Hockey Academy Dames, (5, 0)
Despite the COVID-19 year, Iga Schramm was still able to go abroad and play her first season outside Poland. She was a late addition to the roster of Swiss club Neuchâtel Hockey Academy Dames, who play in the top level of Swiss Hockey. The 18-year-old posted two assists in 21 games. While not eye-popping numbers, it is in line with what most other young players posted in the SWHL A. Her lone regular-season assist put her tied for 19th in points among U20 skaters. Neuchâtel Hockey Academy Dames finished second last in the league, scoring only 38 goals in 20 games. The lack of production is not surprising for a few reasons. Schramm is returning to Poland with Poznan and a great year of experience under her belt.
4 – Zuzanna Baran (RW), 19, ZHK Sarisanka Presov, (4, 0)
Due to my choice to not punish players for lack of games during the COVID season, Zuzanna Baran’s ranking was just kinda frozen as she only played one game in Slovakia for the 2021 season. She did record a single assist in her lone game.
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