Tag: Magdalena Lapies

2022 Top 50 Women’s U20 Players. #3

The top two spots in our rankings were always pretty much a lock. The number three ranking did almost everything they could do in Poland to dethrone one of them.

Players had to be under the age of 20 and at least 13 years old on September 12th, 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. 113 players were considered for the list and reviewed. Fifty players received a ranking.

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

3 – Magdalena Łąpieś (F), 16, Stoczniowiec Gdansk, (3,0)

Magdalena Łąpieś is Poland’s best prospect still playing in the country. Since she first appeared on the list, she has challenged to break into the top two. Her season in 2022 had extreme highs, making me wonder if she is the next star Polish forward like Karolina Pozniewska or Wiktoria Sikorska. The player is an exact blend of everything you want in hockey; the speed, smarts, puck skills, and shots are all there. She has all the makings of an elite hockey player. In games, she can be a walking highlight reel that takes over your viewing of a match. Talking to some in Poland, the all-around two-way game is a work in progress but above that of other players due to her natural ability on the ice. She is a rapidly developing player in Poland and plays with much confidence. Going abroad would be the next step in her evolution, but she is also a full-time member of Metropolis Katowice in the EWHL, which gives her strong senior experience.

Łąpieś had a career year in the PLHK this season. In only 22 games, she scored 39 goals and assisted on 26. Her 65 points were the fourth most in the entire league and the most by any U20 skater. It is the second-best U20 season ever by points, with Olivia Tomczok’s 66-point season being the only one better. On top of this, she did all this in just her age 15 season. She also made her debut for Metropolis Katowice in the EWHL. In 20 games, the Zgierz native recorded eight points (3G-5A-8PTS). This was tied for the third most on the Polish club and the second most by any U16 player in the league. Both club seasons belong in the history books. Everything you could ask for out of a young player.

The Gdansk standout also started waves on the international stage. She represented both the senior team and the U18 squad at IIHF events. A member of team Poland for both rounds of Olympic qualification, where she recorded a goal and an assist in six games. Later at the World Championships, another two assists in five games were added to her season. Her final international stop was at the U18s, where she recorded one goal in four games. If I had to point out one knock on Łąpieś’ season, it would be the international production. This was mainly at the U18s, where she was a bit unlucky with just one goal, as she did fire off 21 shots at the event.

Undoubtedly, Łąpieś is the best U20 player in Poland. She will be a top-line player for the national team for as long as she wants. I also believe she could be a star outside of Poland, as evidenced by her strong performance in the EWHL. If she chooses to leave Poland, I could see her reaching the same levels of professional success as Sikorska or Zielińska.

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2021 Top 30 Women’s U20 Players. #3

Now just the final three left in the rankings. These three are special players that have no right to be as good as they are just based on the odds of how Polish hockey has developed. The odds didn’t matter though, and at such a young age, they have inspired a generation of hockey fans in Poland that bigger things are possible. Two of the top three are very close in age, and have already made a tremendous impact on the sport in the country, while our number three player is a bit behind them in age, they have made their own impact in a very short time. 

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.

Players 30-21Players 10-8
Players 20-16Players 7-4
Players 15-11

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

3 – Magdalena Łąpieś (F), 16, Stoczniowiec Gdansk, (20, +17

When I ranked Łąpieś last year, she was only 14 turning 15 soon and had just put up a 20 point year in the PLHK A. There are a lot of really young forwards in the PLHK A that put up great numbers in their early years, and then try to chase that point total for the rest of their career. Of course, there is a multitude of reasons for this. One big thing you never see out of a lot of those players is a massive leap in their skillset. They rise, but not to the level their early success in the PLHK A would indicate. Łąpieś was already a different beast then them putting up 20 points in her first senior season. 

Łąpieś Goal vs. Latvia

Her 2021 season would suggest a similar path to a lot of the players I alluded to previously. As she went from 20 points in the regular season to just 11. But that doesn’t tell the whole story of her season and play. As she has quickly become one of the most lethal offensive options in Poland. Her game in the opposing zone is the complete package, and she is not only going to be a dominating force in Polish senior leagues but outside of Poland as well. If she wants to expand her game outside of Poland, I don’t believe it would be due to a lack of options at all.

Łąpieś did play in Poland for the 2022 season staying with Gdansk and earning larger roles with national teams both at the IIHF and EWHL levels. All rankings are based on 2021 play, but it would be hard for me to write about her, and not acknowledge the fact, the proof is there in 2022 that Łąpieś is a special player. I hope her success this year is enough for a team outside of Poland to present her an offer that would get her to leave Poland. Regardless Poland already has their next top 6 forward, and potentially someone that could pass Sikorska or Pozniewska.

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2020 Top 30 Women’s U20 Players. #30-20

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 start 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.

Honorable Mentions (In No Order): Aleksandra Górska, Antonina Puchowska, Wiktoria Kedra, and Julia Grzelak

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

30 – Adriana Solecka (RW), 19, SKKH Atomówki GKS Tychy, (Unranked)

Solecka returned to Tychy this year after playing with Janow for the past two seasons. After recording 0 points in 9 games with Janow in the PLHK A, she put up 5 points (2-3-5) in 14 games for Tychy. After some time apart, she is appearing to become a solid forward for Tychy.

29 – Julia Zaborowska (D), 17, KH Polonia Bytom, (Unranked)

Zaborowska made her IIHF debut this year for Poland at the U18s as part of a very good defensive core. I can’t recall her doing any bad, but also nothing that really stood out, which is probably best for a non-offensive defenseman. Her season in Poland was not much either as she only played three games for Polonia.

28 – Olga Jaskulska (F), 15, GKS Stoczniowiec Gdańsk, (Unranked)

Jaskulska was able to earn a larger role in Gdańsk this year and recorded her first three assists in the top Polish women’s league. She also was able to slightly up her production at the junior level from 11 points (7-4-13) to 13 points (7-6-13). Jaskulska is still a very young player, and her play at the top level shows some potential. She will most likely be able to earn a spot on the U18 squad in the coming years.

27 – Katarzyna Zaborska (D), 17, UKHK Unia Oświęcim, (Unranked)

Zaborska looked a lot better at the U18s this year, and well I don’t really believe in plus-minus, she was one of only three Polish players to finish positive. She also had a much stronger season for Oświęcim finishing with 5 points (4-1-5) in 15 games, compared to 3 points (1-2-3) in 17 games last season. I feel she could be a solid two-way player for Poland.

26 – Justyna Zyla (F), 15, UKHK Unia Oświęcim, (Unranked)

The youngest and second smallest player on Poland’s U18 squad was impressive at times during the U18s. While her stat sheet was pretty blank with only one shot, she showed she should definitely be back on team Poland next year. She also notched two goals for Oświęcim, during her club season.

25 – Karolina Rostalska (D), 19, UKH Białe Jastrzębie, (16, -9)

Karolina has one of the biggest drops from the list last year. Last year she had an okay showing at the U18s aided by a strong season with UKH Białe Jastrzębie. This year her production dropped by 6 points and her penalty minutes tripled. Along with the number of defenders that impressed at the U18s, her drop was inevitable.

24 – Alicja Kopciara (F), 18, SKKH Atomówki GKS Tychy, (8, -16)

Kopciara had drops in production at both the U18 level and with Tychy. After posting 3 points (2-1-3) at the U18s last year, this year she went pointless at the event. Kopciara was a force last year in the PLHK with 9 goals in 17 games, but only recorded 2 goals in 4 games this year. A lack of production at the u18s and lack of playing during the regular season are the reasons for her drop, but she remains a very strong goal scorer.

23 – Alicja Mota (F), 16, KH Polonia Bytom, (Unranked)

The soon to be 16-year-old is already a three time champion in Poland with Polonia Bytom. Mota posted career highs in games played, goals, assists, and points this year with Polonia after recording 5 points (2-3-5) in 15 games. She also represented Poland at the U18s, but only recorded 4 penalty minutes. She showed some potential at the tournament but was too often overmatched. She also represented Poland at the youth Olympics.

22 – Alicja Sowa (F), 16, KH Polonia Bytom, (Unraked) 

Sowa was apart of the worst line at the 2019 U18s, but that was not the case in 2020. Her play drastically improved, though Poland was much better defensively overall. Sowa’s biggest jump came with Polonia. This year she recorded 8 points (1-7-8) in 15 games to help Polonia to first place. This was after she was pointless in 10 games the previous year.

21 – Julia Łapińska (F), 15, GKS Stoczniowiec Gdańsk, (Unranked)

At just 14 years old, Lapinska was able to finish top 25 in PLHK scoring. She had a great year for Gdańsk recording 13 points (6-7-13) in 10 games. This included good performances at the junior level as well. She is very short at 4’9 and likely her height contributed to her being left off the U18 squad, but I have no doubt if she keeps up her production she will make the team next year.

20 – Magdalena Łąpieś (F), 14, GKS Stoczniowiec Gdańsk, (Unranked)

Lapies legit turns 14 on March 15th, the 13-year-old finished top 15 in PLHK scoring with 24 points (8-16-24) in 15 games. Lapies comes out of a promising Lodz youth hockey program that is continuing to pump out a lot of great talent. She has produced at a strong rate anywhere she has gone. She will likely be joining the Polish U18 squad very soon.

Players #19-15

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