Tag: Jakub Lewandowski

2022 Top 80 Men’s U23 Players. #5-4

We are in the top five of the rankings. These five players all found themselves in the top five last year. Despite a solid push by the two players ranked seventh and sixth, I always knew these five would be at the top again. The only hard part was going to be figuring out where they ranked amongst themselves. By the end of the year, it became easy to separate the five, in my opinion.  

Players had to be under the age of 23 and at least 16 years old on June 1st, 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. 169 players were considered for the list and reviewed. Eighty players received a ranking.

Players 80-51Players 30-21Players 10-8
Players 50-41Players 20-16Players 7-6
Players 40-31Players 15-11

Rank – Player Name (Position), Age During Next Hockey Season, Team (Ranking in 2021, change in rankings) 

5 – Jakub Lewandowski (F), 21, Bemidji State University, (3, -2

Jakub Lewandowski made his NCAA debut this year for Bemidji State University. He is only the third Polish player to appear at the world’s top level of college hockey. That on its own is an impressive feat, it is another level you don’t expect to see any Polish players appear at. The NCAA also leads to fantastic opportunities for professional chances. Just this offseason, four of Lewandowski’s teammates made some big moves by signing deals in the AHL, ECHL, and Tipos Extraliga. 

For his rookie year, Lewandowski posted two goals and two assists in 19 games while also recording 17 shots and eight blocked shots. His .22 point per game average was 83rd among 20-year-old forwards, it is not uncommon for some pretty low point totals in freshman years. He also did have all four of his points in his first ten games before ending on a 9-game pointless streak. Many first-year students don’t see the ice at all, so I was happy to see him make an impact to begin the year, but he may have been phased out of the lineup after that pointless streak. 

Lewandowski Goal vs. Lake Superior State University NCAA

Of his production matches, 14.3% have gone on to play 50 NHL games, while the most common outcome was an ECHL career with 42.9% of matches. Lewandowski’s most significant asset for the next level is his size. His skating is only considered average by many scouts I have talked to, and that will be the key sticking point to how far he exceeds in North American hockey. Size and skating could take him far if he continues to improve his skating. We see that in his production matches, who don’t have eye-popping stats but still have strong North American careers. His work ethic and leadership abilities are other things you will see mentioned a lot by coaches and scouts. He made the CCHA All-Academic Team for 2022 as well. 

He only turns 21 next year and will be returning to Bemidji. With many big forwards leaving, including seven of the team’s top ten scorers, there should be plenty of opportunities. The big thing will be earning and succeeding in those new opportunities. Consistency issues have been brought up in his past two seasons in the US. I think Lewandowski is at least a guaranteed lock to be a top forward in Poland, which is a good floor. The ceiling will be easier to determine with how his sophomore year goes. 

4 – Damian Tyczyński (F), 22, HK Spisska Nova Ves, (2, -2)

What made the separation of the top five easier was something that Lewandowski and Tyczyński both suffered in losing their spot. Tyczyński had been a highlight of HK Spisska Nova Ves in the second Slovak league last year. When the team earned a promotion to the Tipos Extraliga, they brought their young Polish playmaker with them. Unfortunately, during the year, it seems that he and new head coach Miroslav Mosnár were not always on the same page. He left the team in late December after he continued to fall down the lineup, and it appeared to be a pretty unpopular decision among fans. 

Richard Rapac, the team general manager, released a statement following his release. 

“Unfortunately, Damian was falling out of the lineup in recent matches and there was not long-term satisfaction with his game. Nevertheless, he got the opportunity to fight for his position in the team from the coaching staff. He decided not to take this opportunity, which I personally feel very sorry about. We tried to send Damian to another extra league team, but no one was not interested in his services. In the end, we decided to release him to the first league Dubnica. I wish “Tyčko” only the best in his new place, especially a lot of health. On behalf of the entire club and fans, I thank him for his services and his large parge in the promotion to the Extraliga. The door is open in the future.“

From what I gather, the team was not satisfied with his slow adjustment to the top league in the defensive end. Offensively, while it was not his production in the second league, he was showing well. He posted 15 points (4G-11A-15PTS) in 25 games. That was still good for tenth in points among skaters on HK Spisska Nova Ves to end the year, despite Tyczyński playing 10 to 20 fewer regular-season games. Maybe the release was the wrong choice, as they also fell in the standings from fifth to seventh. 

Damian Tyczyński Shootout goal vs HK Nitra Tipos Extraliga

15 points in 25 games is good production for a forward in their 21-year-old season. His .60 points per game were seventh among all U23 players, while the 15 points were 10th among the same group. So it is no surprise that 100% of his matches have gone on to play 250 games or more in the Tipos Extraliga or a stronger league. 12.5 percent of his matches went on to play in a top European league like the KHL or SHL. At the same time, 38% went to play in a mid-euro level league or stronger. Of course, that defensive play will be the largest factor to him advancing, and it seems earlier in the year, no other Tipos Extraliga was interested in taking him on. 

I could end the report there, and his 25 games in the top of Slovakia would have been enough to warrant his spot at 4. He didn’t just end his year after being released. He represented Poland at the Baltic Challenge Cup, recording a goal and two assists in three games. He also went back to the second Slovak league with HK Spartak Dubnica. There he posted 28 points (6G-22A-28PTS) in 26 games. His 1.08 point per game average was 11th among all skaters in the league and was second among all U23 players. 71.4% of his production matches there, also have had Tipos Extraliga careers of at least 100 games. 

Undoubtedly, he will work his way back to the top league or in another top league around Europe. His drive and determination will continue to open doors for the talented playmaker. For 2023, he has signed a deal in the second level of Slovakia, with an option that automatically converts if the club gets promoted. He is another player where his floor is a PHL star.

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2021 Top 50 Men’s U23 Players. #3

Now down to the final three. These are three players that will be very special for Polish hockey. What they have accomplished is already unique and rare for Polish players. Every time we see a Polish team get relegated, or the men’s team suffers a cruel loss that leaves us devastated. Remembering players like these, are why I have so much hope in Polish hockey. Unfortunately, with our player coming in at number three, there is not much to talk about with their season. They already had a 99% chance to be in the top five, but what he did in the offseason set it in stone. 

Players had to be under the age of 23 and at least 16-years-old 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. Players must have played at least five hockey games to be considered. While most of the ranking is my opinion, numerous Polish hockey people contributed their thoughts on players. One hundred forty-five players were considered for the list and reviewed. Eighty players received a ranking. Players 80-51 will be revealed at the end of the series in the breakdown article. Only the top 50 players receive a report.

Players 50-41Players 15-11
Players 40-31Players 10-8
Players 30-21Players 7-6
Players 20-16Players 5-4

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

3 – Jakub Lewandowski, 20, HC Vitkovice U20, (2, -1

Jakub Lewandowski has done everything perfectly to succeed outside of Poland. He has the size, skills, and success in strong junior leagues. That made it no surprise when he was listed as a potential late NHL draft pick, along with moving over to the United State’s top junior league, the United States Hockey League. For the 2021 season, with covid causing havoc, Lewandowski returned to Czechia to play junior hockey. After five games, Lewandowski’s season would end due to Czechia canceling the U20 season. Lewandowski did record five points (1G-4A-5PTS) in his five games. 

During the offseason, Lewandowski made a big career move. He announced an NCAA commitment to Bemidji State University. He will be only the third Polish player to play in the NCAA and the first since Filip Starzyński in 2018. Bemidji State University has been playing at the top level of college hockey since 1999. Tom Serratore has coached the Beavers from Northern Minnesota since they made the NCAA jump. It was also the former home of NHL players Brad Hunt (Canucks) and Zach Whitecloud (Golden Knights).

It was hard to rank players that had a situation like Lewandowski. If Lewanowskoski had just played the whole year, he would no doubt be the Polish player of the year. But losing a year of development is a big thing for young players, there is also not much to judge a player on for the season. Lewandowski is no doubt a special player and, based on his freshman year in the NCAA, is easily on pace to surpass past Polish players that appeared in the NCAA. For the age 20 season, his point per game average is slightly above Mike Cichy’s 20-year-old season.

Player #2

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Jakub Lewandowski Makes NCAA Commitment

One of Poland’s best young players has taken another major step in their hockey career. 19-year-old Jakub Lewandowski has made an NCAA commitment to Bemidji State University. He will be only the third Polish player to play in the NCAA, and the first since Filip Starzyński in 2018.

Lewandowski quickly emerged as a special talent for Poland. He moved to Czechia at just 16-years-old to play at the top level of U18 hockey in the country. He moved up the ranks quickly making it to the top level in 2019. After his breakout year with 48 points in 48 games in the Czechia U19 league, he moved over to the USA. The Polish forward was able to make it to the USHL, the top level of junior hockey in the states. With the Sioux Falls Stampede of the USHL, he recorded 20 points in 42 games. He was considered a possible late round NHL draft pick at the beginning of the year.

The Torun native has also represented Poland twice on the international stage. He had a seven point tournament in 2018 at the U18s. His best performance though was a 13 point performance at the U20s in 2019. Last season due to COVID-19, Lewandowski returned to Europe and HC Vitkovice. Unfortunately, the Czechia junior leagues would also stop playing after a handful of games. The 6’3 forward still managed four goals and one assist in five games.

Bemidji State University has been playing at the top level of college hockey since 1999. Their best year making it to the frozen four in 2009. Last year the team managed a 22-10-5 record. This was good for the second best record in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. The Beavers from Northern Minnesota have been coached by Tom Serratore since 1999. It was also the former home of NHL players Brad Hunt (Wild) and Zach Whitecloud (Golden Knights).

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No Defense Allowed. 5 Thoughts 2019 U20 D1B World Championship

This year the U20 team was packed with plenty of offensive talent highlighted by NHL Draft hopeful Jakub Lewandowski. The team possessed a very young defense that had a lot of returning players. The goaltending duo had impressed last year and even if they did half as well Poland looked have promotion secured on paper. Of the three units, only one of them was able to live up to their expectations. The offense did great while the defense and goaltending suffered. As a disclaimer, I was only able to watch a handful of games, which brings us right to the first thought.

Sorry Excuse for Streams

About a month before this tournament, Ukraine hosted a four-nation U20 tournament. All of those games were streamed on Youtube in okay quality. This year Ukraine originally only planned to stream Ukraine games on Facebook. In the end, random select games received very poor quality streams that appeared to be shot on a camera from the early 1990s. This comes at a time when there is a lot of criticism the IIHF has received for the lack of quality streams.

Streams for tournaments are decided by the host federation and them alone for most tournaments. IIHF senior world championships seem to be the only exception for that. It should be a requirement though for hosting a tournament that the host is able to provide quality streams for the tournament. For these junior players especially this is the most exposure they will get and a great chance to gain film. In a perfect world, these streams would be handled by the IIHF and streamed on their Youtube channel.

Put In The Third String

Poland’s goaltending was very disappointing in this tournament. The duo of Sebastian Lipinski and Maciej Miarka both played poor in their appearances. Of goaltenders to appear in at least 40% of their teams total minutes, Lipinski finished dead last with a .819 save percentage. Back up goalie Miarka posted a .775 save percentage in his limited time. While one tournament is not the end-all for everything, Poland’s goaltending future does not seem as secure as once believed.

An NHL Draft Worthy Performance

Jakub Lewandowski was a stud in this tournament and put in the performance one would hope with his resume. This tournament was his and he put up 13 points to lead the entire tournament in scoring. Lewandowski proved he is a step above all other Polish talents. He was off to a hot start in the United States Hockey League, but cooled off. Hopefully, the U20 World Championship will help bring back his early-season production.

JL gif.gif 

Bieniek’s Breakthrough

In my limited viewing, Szymon Bieniek was Poland’s most impressive defenseman. He has the two-way game to thrive at both ends. I think he has a very good chance to be Poland’s best defensemen since Pawel Dronia. He has excelled in the states being named both a player of the month and to the NAPHL all-star game.

Sarnik’s Second Chance

Poland’s U20 team head coaches usually have two to three years reigns. Jaroslaw Morawiecki had three seasons at the helm, Andrei Parfenov lasted two years at the top, Torbjörn Johansson led the team for three, then David Leger just had one year. This was Sarnik’s second chance at leading the team and he now has led them to their worse finish this century. The U20 team needs a new coach and Poland should bring in a foreign coach to aid with that development. I don’t believe Poland currently has a coach that can develop talent to higher levels and produce results.

Quick Thoughts

– Klaudiusz Libik’s lack of experience seems to be catching up with him in his development. He remains one of Poland’s best defensive prospects though.

– Kamil Walega maybe the best offensively talented player developed in Poland in the last few years

– There were plenty of special offensive players in this tournament. All of Damian Tyczynski, Igor Smal, Jakub Blanik, Maciej Witan, and Sebastian Brynkus deserve a lot of praise.

– As is custom for almost every tournament. Too many penalties. Poland ranked second in the tournament with 75.

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2019 Poland U20 World Championship Roster Prediction

Recently the U20 National team revealed their roster for the final grouping before the U20 World Championship in Ukraine from December 12th to the 18th. This year the U20 team has had an interesting journey to the World Championship. Poland U20 is going to be very young this year and has tried out a few combinations for lines and rosters. In the past few years, Poland has not been able to earn promotion despite talents like Alan Łyszczarczyk, Bartomiej Jeziorski, Dominik Pas, and others leading the team. This year Poland u20 may have their biggest star in a while as potential NHL draft pick Jakub Lewandowski could represent the team. Adam Kiedewicz is not listed on the roster, and this cast doubt on him ever representing Poland again in his career. Today we make our picks though on what players will be on the ice in red and white for the U20 World Championship.


Kamil Walega- Jan Soltys – Jakub Lewandowski

Damian Tyczynski – Igor Smal  – Ernest Bochnak

Jakub Prokurat – Konrad Filipek – Maciej Witan

Jan Krzyzek – Kacper Gruzla – Mateusz Ubowski

Extra: Mateusz Bezwinski

This offense has a lot of talent. The top line could honestly rival the Alan Łyszczarczyk, Bartomiej Jeziorski, and Dominik Pas line that torn up the U20 World Championships a couple years ago. Walega and Lewandowski may be a bit one dimensional at times, but Soltys plays a complete game that will really benefit the line. It won’t be needed much, though, as this line will continuously be driving offense. The second line brings a lot of unique experiences and offensive potential. All three players have excelled in different places, Tyczynski tore up junior leagues in Slovakia, Igor Smal has been impressive at the senior level in Poland, while Bochnak has earned professional chances in the Czech Republic. The bottom lines still provide a lot of solid depth, size, and a chance at production. Bottom six production is something that Poland has been missing for a long time.


Szymon Bieniek – Klaudiusz Libik

Patryk Gosztyla – Armen Khoperia

Adrian Duszak- Michal Narog

Extra: Bartosz Florczak

There were not too many tough choices here, and there are four returners to the roster on defense. The defense lacked two big things experience and production last year. Everyone is now a year older and should have gained plenty of experience. While the production remains to be seen. Bieniek, Libik, and Narog can all make a significant impact on the offensive end. Florczak is included as my extra because of that. The 16-year-old is very talented and could provide offensively if needed. Libik and Bieniek have a chance to be two of the best defensemen ever for Poland, though the bar is pretty low. Poland has never had outstanding offensive defensemen, with Pawel Dronia being the highlight of this decade. Libik and Bieniek could change that.


Sebastian Lipinski

Maciej Miarka

The same goaltending duo as last year and no need to change it. Lipinski is the best junior goalie that Poland has, and Miarka isn’t far behind. Lipinski had a great showing at the U20 World Championship last year, while Miarka put on a show at the U18 World Championships. I would expect Lipinski to play four of the games, but Miarka to get at least one.


This team has a lot of potential. They could be the team that earns Poland promotion after four straight silver medals. The group has a lot of speed and skill. They are going to be able to outsmart their opponent and dictate how the game is played. This is a very young squad, and if the defense falters, it could be disastrous for the team. Lipinski posted a .938% last year for Poland and that still wasn’t enough. Poland really needs the defense to stop opponents from getting high danger chances and providing some help on offense.

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2020 Polish NHL Draft Prospect Jakub Lewandowski Moves to the USHL

Poland’s top prospect for the 2020 NHL Draft has improved his chances quite a bit by making a move to the United States Hockey League (USHL).

The Sioux Falls Stampede announced their training camp roster on Tuesday and included on the list was Polish forward Jakub Lewandowski. Lewandowski will be only the second Polish national team player to play in the USHL, Rob Gubala played two games during the 1995-96 season. (John Murray and Mike Cichy played in the USHL prior to joining the Polish national team). Polish-born Kamil Sadlocha and Wojciech Stachowiak also played in the league during the 2017-18 season. Both made NCAA division 1 commitment after the season.

Last season, Lewandowski had 48 points (22-26-26) in 48 games with HC Vitkovice U19 in the Czech U19 league. He also played one game for PZHL U23 in the PHL recording 1 assist. Prior to last year, the 6’2 forward had played in the HC Vitkovice U18 system since 2016. Before moving to the Czech Republic, he played for Sokoly Torun in Poland. Lewandowski represented Poland at the 2018 U18s, where he recorded 7 points (5-2-7) in 5 games.

Lewandowski will be one of the 28 players trying to earn a spot on the 23 man Stampede roster. Last season Sioux Falls were the USHL Champions but will see of five of their top scorers move on in their careers.

The United States Hockey League is the top junior hockey league in the United States and a major source of NHL draft picks. Last year 47 NHL draft picks played at least 15 games in the USHL during their draft year.

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2019 Top 50 Men’s U23 Players. #3

Despite all that seems to go wrong in Polish hockey the light at the end of the tunnel has been the amount of great young talent that Poland has in their system right now. This is the deepest depth of young talent Poland has had this century. Regardless of what happens in regards to management and coaching with the talent that Poland has coming, they should be able to push forward. In this list, I wanted to rank Poland’s young talent to create a better picture of what the future look likes. In this part, we look at the player ranked third.

Player #4

Rank – Player Name (Position), Age During Next Hockey Season, Team

3 – Jakub Lewandowski (F), 18, HC Vitkovice U19. One of the highest bars to hit when judging the growth of a small hockey country is getting a player drafted. It can make headlines and inspire so many young players in a country. For Poland, it has been a long time since that height was reached. The last was Marcin Kolusz, who heard his name called in 2003. There have been others since then to reportedly draw some interest and get invited to development camps, but that elusive status of being drafted has continued to evade Polish players. There is always talk of the next player who may potentially change that and that player in Poland right now is Jakub Lewandowski. Lewandowski is Poland’s next chance to have a player drafted to the NHL and his odds look promising.

Lewandowski moved over to the Czech junior system in 2016 after playing in the Sokoly Torun system his entire life. He even reached the Tourn U20 team as a 14-year-old in 2015. His jump to Czechia was dominant from the beginning he had 54 points (27G, 27A) in 30 Czech U16 games. He also got in 28 games at the U18 league, adding 25 more points (17G, 8A). He played full time in the Czech U18 league for the 2017-18 season, he scored 29 goals in 42 games while adding 15 assists for 44 points.

Now to this season his season before being draft eligible. Lewandowski got off to an extremely hot start. Being one of the leading scorers to begin the Czech junior year.

His scoring did cool a bit, but by no means was it not great production. Lewandowski finished with 22 goals and 26 assists in 48 games. This was the second most points by any player in their season before draft eligibility and the 6th highest point-per-game.

Lewandowski made his national team IIHF debut for Poland at the 2018 U18s. There he was able to score five goals and added two assists. This was tied for the second most goals on team Poland. This year he was left off the U20 World Championship in a controversial decision. That I view as one of the biggest roster mistakes this decade. He did get one game in with PZHL U23, where he recorded an assist against Orlik Opole.

Lewandowski is a sensational offensive talent with an eye for the back of the end. He will always be able to make his way to the front of the net and use his excellent patience before unleashing his lethal shot.  He has some decent forechecking ability. He has all the offensive tools to succeed in some of the top professional leagues in Europe.

While his top professional league status in Europe is probably a guarantee. He is also the Polish player that has the best chance to be drafted. His draft year is next year and it is no were near a guarantee, but he has a lot going for him. First, he has the size that NHL team love, Lewandowski stands at 6’2. Second, he has the offensive skill to be drafted in my opinion. The third is the fact that how similar players and players he played with and against are doing. For the 2020 draft, there are six players popping up on draft boards who also played in the Czech u19 league.

Lewandowski stats
Czech u19 Scoring Shown

Lewandowski while not the top scoring player is not the worst. A reminder he also had the second most points among players in their draft-eligibility -1 season. While an impressive stat part of this is because all the other players, besides John-Jason Peterka, were able to play some professional hockey games. That is the big key for Lewandowski, he needs to get on some larger stages. Even if that is just playing a handful of games in the second league. It would give the exposure and credibility that Lewandowski needs. He will be a key member of Poland’s U20 team along with returning to HC Vitkovice U19. Hopefully, Vitkovice will give him some professional chances.

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