Tag: Klaudiusz Libik

2020 Top 50 Men’s U23 Players. #12

This year was a pivotal year for Polish hockey. For many players that frequented the list last year or in the years past it was onto full-time professional hockey in Poland or testing their skills in another countries highest junior league, while plenty of players arose to challenge and cemented themselves as future pillars of the national team plenty of players couldn’t live up to their expectations causing drastic changes to the rankings.

This is not the time I wanted to start the list, as the World Championship and U18 World Championship are a great way for players to improve their stock, the U18 World Championship being the first significant exposure for a lot of players. Due to the coronavirus, there are no more tournaments, and hockey is done for the year. Polish hockey itself faces an uncertain future as the virus will leave a lasting effect for years to come.

The real world is a very dark and scary place right now, but I want to look forward to the future while stuck at home. The future of the Polish national team is something that fans should be excited about. I have maintained for years that Poland has more young talent right now then it did any other time this century. I still stand by that opinion today. Poland saw their ace prospect prove himself in professional North American hockey, another NHL draft prospect rise, and a vast increase in depth. Today we start our ranking of the top 50 Men’s U23 players in Poland.

Players had to be under the age of 23 and at least 16-years-old on March 27th, 2020. Players are judged based on a combination of career history, current play, and potential. While a majority of the ranking is my own opinion, numerous people in the Polish hockey world contributed their thoughts on players. 140 players were considered for the list and scouted. 80 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 scouting report.

Players 50-41 Players 15-13
Players 40-31
Players 30-21
Players 20-16

Rank – Player Name (Position), Age During Next Hockey Season, Team (Ranking in 2019, change in ranking

12 – Klaudiusz Libik (D), 19, Sparta Sarpsborg U21, (11, -1)

Libik has long been one of my favorite Polish players. I think he is immensely talented with exceptional two-way abilities. This is always especially impressive when you consider he didn’t start playing hockey till he was 12 years old. This was only his sixth year of playing hockey. He has a natural talent for the game that is obvious, but it seems a few problems are starting to catch up with him. One is his lack of experience compared to other players. His bumpy junior career in Norway has also seemingly affected his development. In Norway, Libik has bounced between Sparta Sarpsborg and Stjernen Hockey while also being bounced back and forth between playing forward and defensemen. This was the first season in a bit where he was able to really just play defense, only playing one game at forward.

In total this season, he had 13 points (3-10-13) in 41 games. I think his stats are fascinating when you break down the numbers behind them. Libik played for two teams this year. Neither was very good, especially not Stjernen. Stjernen Hockey U21 only had a total of two wins this year in 38 games. Libik had seven points (3-4-7) in 16 games. His seven points would have ended tied for eleventh on the team. This is astonishing when you remember he left the team two months into the season. With Sterjen, he played all 16 of his games on defense. In 14 of them, he was on the team’s second pairing, with the other two being on the third pairing. All his points came on the second pairing. The more striking thing is when you look at the difference between which side he lined up on. When the right-handed defenseman is lined up on the left side, he has two assists in eight matches. Libik playing on the right side has five points (3-2-5) in eight games.

He moved over to Sparta into November and recorded six assists in 25 games. Sparta was not a great team either this year finishing eighth in the league. In his 25 games with Sparta, we saw him line up on the right side only nine times, left side fifteen games, and one game at left wing. He had four assists on the left side, and two assist on the right. When he was on the top pairing, he recorded four assists in eight games, but only two assists in 13 games on the second pairing.

Going through his season game by game this year to try and understand his production was well worth it. It also was needed to try and see how he stacked up versus his competition, as his unique career doesn’t mean comparables can be assumed right away. In regular-season competition, his 11 points (1-10-11) rank thirty-second among all U21 defensemen, and tied for fifteen among U19 defensemen. Among his production matches that stayed active players after the junior-aged 18 season, a lot of them take their baby steps into Norway’s top and second senior leagues. Libik’s inexperience may not see him reach the senior level so quickly, but it appears when given the opportunity to play higher minutes, he excels at them. The right side appears to be where he is more comfortable as well.

Libik has continued to represent Poland at numerous U20 tournaments, including at the IIHF U20 D1B World Championship, where the 6’1 defenseman recorded one assist in four games. One of the big things I noticed about him this year, in my small amount of film, was being more aggressive when it came to shooting the puck. In Poland’s game against Hungary, he fired a shot from the point that Jakub Lewandowski was able to tip and give Poland a 1-0 lead. It appears that was true in his club season as well, firing 88 shots in 41 games, just over two shots a game, which is way up from 30 shots(.77 shots per game), in 39 U21 games last season.

Libik assist

Libik is continuing to get more confident on the defensive end, while also still improving his offensive side. He isn’t lacking on the size end and should continue to get better while gaining more experience. His junior status in Norway also gives him a very unique development and style that no other Polish player really has. I still think Libik is a big part of Poland’s future on defense and don’t imagine his senior debut is that far off if he continues his current development.

If you want to keep up with all the offseason news, make sure to follow us on Twitter @PolandHockey and like our Facebook page.

 

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.

Forwards

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.

Defensemen

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.

Goalies

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.

Conclusion

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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2019 Top 50 Polish Men’s U23 Players. #12-10

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. This is part 2 of the series as we look at the players ranked 12 through 10.

Players 50-45     Players 26-21

Players 44-39     Players 20-17

Players 38-33     Players 16-13

Players 32-27

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

#12 – Mateusz Goscinski (LW), 22, GKS Tychy. Goscinski was one of the few young forwards who got to play extendedly with the national team this year and he did not disappoint. He picked up 1 goal and 4 assists for team Poland at various non-IIHF events. He was then named to team Poland for the World Championships and added another goal and two more assists. It was quite the international year for the young forward. He looked impressive at every international tournament he appeared at and cemented himself on all future Polish national team rosters.

 

He has played for GKS Tychy the last two seasons. His contributions have helped GKS Tychy to back to back PHL championships. Goscinski has been playing in the PHL since 2015-16 when he made appearances for KH Torun and SMS U20 Sosnowiec. In his four PHL years, he has averaged 8 goals and 8 assists a year. This season, he tied a career high for points with 18 (8G, 10A). He did well in the playoffs recording 3 goals and 3 assists. The PHL playoffs usually see a lot of players drop off in scoring as the competition gets a lot tougher. The production dropoff is usually drastic in younger players. Goscinski finished in a 3-way-tie for the most points by a U23 player in the playoffs.

 

 

He is a really dynamic player and always making an impact. During the World Championships, when he was on the ice it always seemed like he either had the puck or was on it. Very aggressive always on the puck, but also smart about it and knows how to play his role. Goscinski is the exact kind of player that Poland needs to keep promoting right now. Let him take charge and play more, it is clear he can produce in the role.

#11 – Klaudiusz Libik (F/D), 18, Stjernen Hockey U21. Libik is personally one of my favorite prospects in Poland. The 17-year-old was named to both the U18 and U20 national teams this year. He looked good at both events demonstrating his high offensive and defensive skill. He had 3 assists at the U18s and one at the U20s. He will be a key leader on the defense next year at the U20s for sure. One of the most interesting things about Libik is his ability to play defense and forward. I don’t believe Libik has played in the forward role for Poland, but has played a lot of it during his career in Norway. Libik plays at the top level of junior hockey in Norway. The league is quite an odd one for a Polish player to appear in and I failed to turn up any records of a previous Polish player.

In the Norweign junior leagues, Libik splint last season in between the junior teams of Sparta Sarpsborg and Stjernen Hockey. He had been playing with the top Sparta u18 team since 2015-16. The reason he left the team midway through this year was disagreements with management. Stjernen was quick to snap him up and rushed to get him in their squad. In an interview with Hokej.net he said, “In my new club everyone is surprised why in Sparta they put so little on me.” Later in the interview, he revealed that Sparta wanted him back and contacted him also immediately after his release about returning next year. Libik said he won’t be looking to return to Sparta. He also wants to get to the Get Ligaen soon, and Stjernen should offer a way better chance at that.

Regardless of the drama of his transfer during the season, Libik was able to have a great year. At the U18 level between the two clubs, he had 7 goals and 7 assists in 19 games. In the 21 leagues, he recorded 2 goals and 10 assists in 35 games. His 10 assists were 18th among U18 players in the league.

Libik is a very talented player with a strong two-way game. He would be considered a top prospect for Poland at forward or defense. He is a great athlete and can play a lot of minutes. Libik has only been playing hockey since he was 12-years-old so last year was only his 5th year of hockey. His growth during that time is astounding. There are times when he has made some really bad turnovers on defense. There was one against Ukraine this year at the U20 World Championship that led to Ukraine tying the game. These are the kinda mistakes that will go away in his game as he gets more experience. David Leger, former junior national head coach, talked about a time Libik made a mistake at the U18s, “In one game he thought he put the team in a bad spot and he was really upset with himself. We ended up winning the game, but I really took from that he is the kinda high character guy you want on your team.” 

#10 – Bartlomiej Jeziorski (LW), 21, GKS Tychy. The first player in the top 10 is Jeziorski. This season Jeziorski was appointed to his second IIHF senior World Championship team, a very rare feat for a Polish player. This year was the most extended time that Jezoriski received with the Men’s national team since 2016-17. He had 1 goal and 1 assist 8 non-IIHF games with the team, then another goal and an assist at the World Championships.

As a 19-year-old, he posted 23 points (8G, 15A) in 31 games during the 2017-18 regular season. It was the 6th highest point per game ever recorded by a u20 player in the PHL. The 3 other players who have produced at a similar rate also went on to have pretty good careers.

jeziroski stats

Pasiut is one of the best players in the PHL and did really well in the Belarusian Extraleague A, the top league in Belarus. Teddy Da Costa has represented France internationally as while as playing in the EBEL, Liiga, Mestis, and Synerglace Ligue Magnus. Bernat is the outlier of the two. He had a solid career in the PHL, but nowhere near the success Pasiut or Da Costa had in the PHL.

 

 

 

His production dropped off this year with only 6 goals and 9 assists in 38 games. It didn’t get better in the playoffs when he only scored twice in  17 games. His overall point per game of .31 ranked 150th in the league. It was a rough year production wise for Jeziorski. Despite the drop in production, Jeziorski is still one of the best young forwards in Poland. He has great size at 6’3 and is a very efficient passer. Jezorski has great offensive instincts and a strong shot as well. He has a complete offensive toolset. He should break out next year production wise for GKS Tychy.

Players 9-8

If you want to keep up with all the offseason news, make sure to follow us on Twitter @PolandHockey and like our Facebook page.