Tag: Szymon Dobosz

2022 Top 80 Men’s U23 Players. #50-41

After the 30-player-long part 1, we have now reached the first article of the top 50. This is the first group of players who, for me, graded out as solid PHL players in past, current, and future play. This group of players was hard to rank, as it has a few players struggling to find their identity in the PHL. It becomes hard to tell after a few PHL seasons if a player still possesses the ability to climb the lineup and become an impact producer. On top of that, we had plenty of players not previously ranked, breaking the top 50. 

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. One hundred sixty-nine players were considered for the list and reviewed, and eighty players received a ranking.

Players 80-51

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

50 – Szymon Dobosz (F), 20, UKS Niedzwiadki Sanok (41, -9)

The top 50 spot always feels like its a player who has a larger story to their season. There were questions about Dobosz’s future at the end of the 2021 hockey year, and those were never really resolved. The young forward would not sign or play anywhere during the year’s first half. He did attend national team camps and sparrings, but that was it. He was then selected to the roster of the Polish U20 team for the Division 1 Group B World Championship. He was rusty at the tournament and looked out of place sometimes. After Poland was relegated, head coach Artur Slusarczyk said he believed that Dobosz was still one of the best wingers available to them even without playing a club season. 

Szymon Dobosz Goal vs. Sokoly Torun MHL

After the international tournament, Dobosz would return to Sanok and play in the MHL for the remainder of the season. He finished with 15 points (10G-5A-15PTS) in 13 games. He is a talented forward, no doubt. At this stage, he needs to play as much as possible to continue to develop. If Dobosz plays a lot, I could see him in a middle-six for Sanok. 

49 – Jakub Blanik (F), 21, Zaglebie Sosnowiec (27, -22

I had high hopes that Blanik’s production would recover this year after he only posted three points in 31 games during the 2021 season. Instead, his production went down as he only recorded two assists in 41 games. Those two assists also both came in one game against Podhale. These are very disappointing numbers for a forward, especially for one who had posted seven points in just 17 games during the 2020 season. He did post 20 points (3G-17A-20PTS) in 12 MHL games. 

Blanik primary assist vs. Podhale Nowy Targ PHL

Now that Blanik is in his 20s, these will be make-or-break seasons. His high character and competitiveness are things that coaches rave about. I see him being a PHL forward, even if only a bottom-six one. 

48 – Michał Nawrocki (F),  19, Kalix HC J20, (43, -5

Nawrocki continues his journeyman junior career as he split time between Poland and Sweden. This year, he spent most of his time with Kalix HC J20 in Sweden’s second U20 division. There in 22 games, he recorded two goals and two assists. The other part of his season was in the MHL with Sokoly Torun. He only played in ten games, but he scored six goals and assisted on five. He is likely too good to play in the MHL full time, so I have liked seeing him take chances abroad. 

Nawrocki Goal vs. Sokoly Torun MHL

For the 2022 season, he will move to the United States and play for the Hershey Cubs in the USPHL Premier League. A lower-tier junior league in states, but still boasts some professional alumni. We have seen quite a few Poles play in the league, but Nawrocki will possibly be the first forward to get extended time. 

47 – Kacper Ziarkowski (F), 17, Krefelder EV 1981 U17, (NR) 

Ziarkowski receives a huge debut rating after only playing five games in 2021. His 2022 season was the first time we saw him in an extended run, and it was a great showing. The Torun native posted 46 points (27G-19A-46PTS) in 34 Germany U17 games. His 46 points were 27th among all skaters in the league, the fourth most by a non-German player. His 27 goals were tied for 9th in the league. While the current structure of Germany’s U17 league has only been around since 2019, his production matches suggest he should be a good DNL U20 player. Plenty of them have already taken their first professional steps across all the top three levels of German senior hockey. 

Ziarkowski did take some baby steps to the next level. He played in one Obliega game in 2022 with Krefelder EV 1981 U23. He also managed to get in two games at the DNL U20 level, where he recorded one goal. The team has already announced that Ziarkowski will be promoted to the DNL U20 top level next year. Poland could be looking at an excellent IIHF U20 producer. 

46 – Oskar Bajwenko (D), 21, KH Torun, (63, +17

Bajwenko was a player I have been watching for a bit. As I think the aggressive defender has a strong shot at being a top-four defenseman in Poland. He started to crawl into the PHL this year, playing in 14 regular-season games and then 4 playoff games. He also showed he is ready to graduate from the MHL after posting a career-high of 15 points (3G-12A-15PTS) in 12 games. His 1.25 point per game average was fourth among all defensemen. 

Bajwenko Goal vs. Sokoly Torun MHL

He will be returning to a much more crowded defensemen room in Torun, as the team is returning their key Poles while also adding Jakub Gimiński and Ukrainian Volodymyr Aleksyuk. I do like that former longtime PHL defensemen Lukasz Podsiadlo will be aiding his development as an assistant coach in Torun. I expect Bajwenko to potentially step into a full-time top-six role with Torun this year. 

45 – Filip Świderski (G), 21, STS Sanok, (NR) 

After a pretty quiet 2021, Świderski took control of the backup spot in the Sanok lineup. During the 2021 season, Patrik Spesny was entrenched in the starting role, playing every game of the year. But in 2022, Spesny wasn’t as sharp, and this opened up a few chances for Filip Świderski. A specific game I want to highlight was on October 17th, vs. Unia Oswiecim. With the start, Świderski played great while facing constant pressure. He stopped 38 of 40 shots. In total, he posted a .894 save percentage in eight games. That is the 6th highest save percentage by a 21-year-old goalie in the PHL since 2010 (min 5 games). 

Świderski save vs. Unia Oswiecim PHL

Towards the end of the season, STS Sanok would add a new starting goalie in Dominik Salama. The move would shift Spesny to the backup role, and Swiderski went back down to the MHL in time for the playoffs. In the playoffs, he was lights out, posting a .935 save percentage in 7 games. Only 4 U23 goalies played in more than 5 PHL games last year, and Świderski posted the best save percentage by a decent margin. With new PHL goalie rules, I think Salama and Świderski will be a great pairing, and the Sanok native could hit double-digit appearances with a few starts. 

44 – Kacper Gruźla (F), 22, GKS Tychy (23, -21

After a break-out year in 2021, Gruźla weirdly saw his role diminish on Tychy. He would suit up in 18 games this year, mainly on the lower lines, and go pointless. He also played in the MHL, scoring nine goals and assisting on six in 11 games. This year was his age 21 season, so MHL production does not hold much water in his ranking. He has played in PHL games across four seasons, and this is the first time he failed to record a single point. 

Gruźla should be a PHL player, but it is clear that was probably not going to happen in Tychy soon. Unsurprisingly, the team announced he would leave the club. I hope to see him in a different organization that can provide more opportunities. Next season is his age 22 year so the clock is ticking, and I think Gruzla has the potential to be more than a bottom-six player. 

43 – Tomasz Grobelkiewicz (G), 19, SMS PZHL Katowice (NR) 

Grobelkiewicz is a prospect I have been watching for a while, as I have enjoyed watching the slow rebirth of hockey in Lodz. He received a look with Krakow to start the season. But returned to the MHL, and had a breakout year as the starting netminder for SMS PZHL Katowice. In 18 games, he posted a .905 save percentage, which was tied for third among all goalies and second among U20 goalies. He would also stay strong in three MHL playoff games, posting a .902 save percentage.

Grobelkiewicz save vs Lodz MHL

After a great MHL season, he would not slow down. He joined Polonia Bytom for the CLJ playoffs and posted his best performance of the year. In Five games, he stopped 111 shots and only allowed seven goals. No doubt in my mind that next year, I see Grobelkiewicz as the starting goalie for team Poland at the U20 World Championships. 

42 – Filip Sienkiewicz (F), 19, UKS Niedzwiadki Sanok (NR)

Sienkiewicz fell under the radar the last two seasons as he played for the Connecticut Chiefs junior teams in the United States. He returned to Poland this year full-time in 2022 to play for Sanok. He would start the year in the MHL and build a strong season. In total, he scored 14 goals and 16 assists in 28 games. His 30 points were 11th among U20 skaters in the MHL and the fifth most by an 18-year-old skater. 

Sienkiewicz goal vs. Zagłębie Sosnowiec PHL

His strong MHL play led to him getting a PHL callup with Sanok in January. He would go on to play in eight games in the regular season and three in the playoffs. In those 11 games, he scored his first career goal and assisted on two more. A tiny sample size, but it was fourth among U20 skaters in points and second-best point per game average. Sienkiewicz was a pleasant late surprise for Sanok, and it will be interesting to see his role next year. 

41 – Aleks Menc (F), 18, Strömsbro IF J18 (37, -4

Aleks Menc played his first full year abroad in Sweden this year. He mainly played in the J18 Region, which is the second level of U18 hockey in Sweden. The young center recorded 18 points (12G-6A-18PTS) in 34 games. Looking at his exact production matches that went on to play a senior career, 38 percent went on to play in Sweden’s third level of hockey (HockeyEttan). No matches have reached a stronger league than the HockeyEttan. Menc also played for Poland at the U18 Divison 1 Group B World Championships, where he recorded one assist.

Menc Goal vs France U18 Exhibition

He is a talented offensive forward with a strong shot but lacks consistency in his game. This is most evident by 10 of his 18 points coming in the last nine games of the season—only eight points in the first 25 games of the year. Maybe the jump to Sweden took a lot of adjustment. He wasn’t surrounded by the most talented roster this year either, and his 18 points were third on Strömsbro. I am curious to see if Menc stays in Sweden next year. There is a lot of talent in there if someone can mold it correctly.

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2021 Top 50 Men’s U23 Players. #50-41

Last year I thought the list was difficult because a few players missed playoff games or international tournaments. This year was even more challenging as some players did not play at all. Lots of players saw their season cut short or never get started. In Poland, hockey was able to be played with both the PHL and MHL completing their seasons.

I thought about skipping the list this year because many of the top young players maybe saw their years canceled as they play abroad. I ended up looking at it similar to a player with a season-ending injury. A lot of players lost a crucial year of development. Their sacrifice will hopefully be understood with coaches as they play a bit of catch-up.

With that said, there was a lot of hockey played, with plenty of players taking significant steps in their careers. At the same time, plenty of others have been a part of an action-packed offseason and moving up levels. It is time for the top 50 U23 players of 2021. 

Players had to be under the age of 23 and at least 16-years-old on June 30th, 2021. Players are judged 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 own opinion, numerous people in the Polish hockey world 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.

Honorable Mentions (In No Order): Patryk Pelaczyk, Marcin Plachetka, Lukasz Kaminski, Patryk Wysocki, Paweł Bizub. 

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

50. Oliwier Kasperek (D), 19, MOSM Tychy (Not Ranked) 

Kasperek makes his first appearance on the list after just missing a ranking last year. The young defensemen would have certainly been vying for a spot on Poland’s U20 roster. He did play for the U20 team in their two games at Opole HK. He had a cup of coffee with GKS Tychy playing in 4 games. Most of his time was spent with MOSM Tychy in the MHL. There he recorded 13 points (2G-11A-13PTS) in 29 games. His regular-season point total was tied for sixth among MHL U20 defensemen. 

49. Michał Kusak (F), 17, HC Karlovy Vary U17 (Not Ranked)

From one non-ranked player to the next, Michal Kusak makes the top 50. Kusak left Poland at 14, to play in the top U17 level in Czechia. In his third year at the U17 level, It appeared Kusak was going to have a breakout season with 5 points (1G-4A-5PTS) in his first four games. The rest of the season was canceled. Kusak returned to Poland, putting up a similar performance with 5 points (1G-4A-5PTS) in 3 games during the junior level postseason. 

48. Patryk Gosztyla (D), 22, Cracovia Krakow (51, +3)

Gosztyla came over to Krakow last year from the Slovak junior system. At the time, Krakow was looking to inject more young Polish talent into their lineup. Despite that, regular playing time found itself hard to come by for the 6’2 defender in his first season. 2021 proved to be better as he played 28 games while recording one assist. The stay-at-home defenseman has continued to improve his game slightly. He is not close to a national team contributor yet. Next year at 22, he will need a break-out season. 

47. Jakub Worwa (F), 22, Podhale Nowy Targ (66, +19)

While it may seem like Worwa is getting a big jump. This is mainly due to staying healthy after just playing 12 games in 2020. I was very excited to see Worwa play this year after posting 6 points the previous year in just 12 games. In 36 games this year, he recorded three goals and four assists. This production is down from 2019 when he posted 11 points as a 19-year-old. He still finished 13th in scoring among u22 players. The power-forward has a make-or-break year in 2022. 

46. Dawid Wróblewski (F), 19, JKH GKS Jastrzebie (Not Ranked) 

Wróblewski has many positive assets at his disposal. These include good size at 6’4, and strong offensive instincts. In past years, he was always someone hard to leave unranked. It came down to putting it all together when he was playing at higher levels. This year the Polish forward with US citizenship found himself loaned to Polonia Bytom in the MHL. He was more than impressive. His 26 points (12G-14A-26PTS) in 21 games were tied for fifth among u20 players in the MHL. He also added 18 points (7G-11A-18PTS) in 6 games during the CLJ postseason. I hope to see him receive a cup of coffee in the PHL next year. 

45. Filip Plonka (G), 19, Unia Oswiecim (73, +28)

Our first goalie on the list! Again this year, I wanted to give more credit to the goalies. Plonka made headlines last year when he recorded his first PHL shutout in his first game at 16-years-old. While this year was a bit step back statistically. Almost all goalies declined in the MHL this year. His .892 SV% was still seventh in the MHL, among players with at least five games. With Lipinski departing, it seems Plonka is the pick of the future in Oswiecim. 

44. Wiktor Bochnak (F), 20, AZ Havirov U20 (52, +8)

Bochnak has spent most of his junior career in Czechia. Thus he has been able to work his way up the system. He has played at the top level of junior hockey in the country since he was 16. His numbers during that time were not always eye-popping. Before the Czech system shut down for the year, Bochnak played in six pointless games. He ended the year on a high note after returning to Poland. With Podhale, he posted 26 points (14G-12A-26PTS) in just 12 games across the MHL and CLJ.  

43. Michał Nawrocki (F), 18, Sokoly Torun (76, +33)

Nawrocki had a solid couple of years in the German junior ranks. This year he was set to test his skills in Sweden’s J18 Div.1 with Kalix HC J18, but most levels of Swedish hockey were canceled. Nawrocki managed to get in 6 games recording a goal and an assist but not much time to show what he has. He would return to Tourn and play in Poland’s junior system. In the MHL, he recorded 9 points (4G-5A) in 11 games. The third best point per game average among U18 MHL skaters. The Gdansk native also netted 17 points in 16 games across other Polish junior contests. 

42. Jan Krzyzek (F), 21, GKS Tychy (34, -8)

Last year the big german-born forward played at almost every level with a lot of success. This year was split between the GKS Tychy and their MHL team. In 18 PHL games with Tychy, he recorded one goal. While down from his three goals the previous year, he had a lesser role with Tychy than PZHL u23. At the junior level, it was a different story.  His 1.70 PPG was the 5th best by a U20 player in the MHL. Krzyzek was explosive in the postseason with 15 points (9G-6A-15PTS) in 8 CLJ games of play. At 21 next year, we will need to see some of his production start to shown through at the senior level. 

41. Szymon Dobosz (F), 19 STS Sanok, (45, +4)

Dobosz was able to play the majority of this year at the senior level for STS Sanok. In those 26 games, he did go pointless. I’m not too worried about that, given the level of talent he was surrounded by in Sanok. In the MHL, his 12 points in 7 games resulted in the highest points per game average among all players in their first draft-eligible year. Dobosz was at the weird place of too good for junior hockey but not good enough for top-level senior hockey yet. Unfortunately, in Poland, there is not an excellent place for those players.

Players 40-31

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2020 Top 50 Men’s U23 Players. #50-41

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.

Honorable Mentions (In No Order): Adrian Gromadzki (Not eligible due to age, but would have made top 50 if old enough), Bartosz Woloszyk, Adrian Duszak, Wiktor Bochnak, and Patryk Gosztyla

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

50 – Patryk Wysocki (D), 21, Antwerp Phantoms, (16, -34)

We start this year’s list off with a major fall. Wysocki started the year in the top Russian junior league with ORG Junior Beijing. The promising stay at home defensemen finished last season with the Chinese junior team that plays in the top Russia junior league after being recruited by Andrei Parfenov, the former head coach of the Polish junior program. Parfenov took a job in the VHL for the 2020 season. While new head coach Yevgeni Yesaulov gave him a chance, in the beginning, the 5’11 Gdansk product eventually disappeared from the lineup.  He played his last game for the team on October 10th, where he played just under six minutes. In early December, he showed up in the Belgium league, recording four assists in 14 games for the Antwerp Phantoms. A step back year for a defenseman that is good enough to be at the top level, but not enough to secure a permanent spot.

49 – Kacper Gruzla (F), 20, MOSM Tychy (Unranked)

Gruzla makes his debut on the list after a promising performance at the U20 World Championship and solid junior league season. Gruzla posted two goals for Poland, one an empty netter,  at the U20 World Championship. He also made his senior debut for GKS Tychy, along with playing in the PHL for PZHL U23. In 15 PHL games, he posted both a goal and assist. His best offensive success came with Mosm Tychy, where he recorded 22 goals and 19 assists in 26 games in Poland’s MHL, which was eighth in the league. Lots of flashes of potential, but he is someone who needs to play against stronger talent more.

48 – Szymon Radzieńciak (D), 20, HC Ocelari Trinec U20, (66, +18)

Radzieńciak is mirroring the development of his brother Grzegorz Radzieńciak. While his brother Grzegorz has flashed more of a two-way game, Radzieńciak is more one dimensional with defensive being his specialty. The 6’2 defensemen represented Poland at the 2018 U18s and was under consideration for a spot on this year’s U20 squad. The long time HC Ocelari Trinec junior player had two assists in 30 DHL games, along with appearing in two games for the PZHL U23 squad.

47 – Mateusz Zieliński (D), 23, KH Torun, (70, +23)

Zieliński took a big jump this year, becoming a larger part of the KH Torun defense. Coming into this season, Zieliński had 11 points in his previous 125 PHL games, this year in 50 games, the 6’0 defensemen had 12 points (3-9-12). This was second among all U23 defensemen for points. He played more and more than handled that challenge, especially as Torun tested plenty of import defensemen that he was able to outplay.

Zieliński

46 – Igor Augustyniak (F), 19, Cracovia Kraków, (59, +13)

Augustyniak moved to the Krakow program this year after spending his entire junior career with Polonia Bytom. In his first year with Krakow, he was able to play more in the PHL, recording six games with Krakow, along with playing nine games for PZHL U23, where he recorded a goal and an assist. This came on top of a great junior league season, where Augustyniak posted 34 points (21-13-34) in 21 games, tied for twelfth in the league. The 5’9 forward should have a strong chance at making Poland’s U20 squad next year.

45 – Szymon Dobosz (F), 18, UKS Sanok, (43, -2)

Dobosz is one of the players that probably suffered the most from the cancellation of the U18s, as he would have no doubt been a leader on that squad. At an earlier U18 tournament in Hungary, he recorded four points (1-3-4) in three games. This year his season was split between PZHL U23, along with both Sanok’s U20 team and their Sovak second Liga team. In the PZHL U23, he recorded one assist in seven games. In Slovakia, he recorded eight points (4-4-8) in 16 games, down from 14 points last year. In limited U20 action, the career Sanok junior player recorded 15 points (8-7-15) in nine games. Dobosz already received U20 squad consideration this year, so I would say he has an outside chance at making it next year.

44 – Marcel Kotuła (G), 19, Zaglebie Sosnowiec, (79, +35)

Last year I feel I didn’t give enough credit to goaltenders on the list, and I wanted to change that for this year. Statistics really don’t paint young goalies in a good light in Poland, given they face 40 plus shots in PZHL U23 games. Kotuła was a victim of that posting a .829 sv% in eight games with PZHL U23. When not on loan to the Polish U23 squad, he was much better. He saved 16 out of 17 shots against Janow in his lone PHL game for Sosnowiec this year and posted a .912 sv% in 18 U20 league games. His .912 sv% was the best among goalies with at least ten matches. He received some U20 squad consideration this season and most likely will have a spot on the squad in 2020.

Kotula

43 – Michał Zając (F), 19, Polonia Bytom, (67, +24)

Zając had a great year despite not being able to log minutes for a club in the PHL. In ten games with PZHL U23, he posted 4 points (2-2-4). In a season where PZHL U23 didn’t have many consistent offensive options, this was tied for third on the team in scoring. He also appeared on the Poland U18 team that plays in the Czech third-tier u20 league, where he posted eight points (5-3-8) in seven games. He also played for Polonia Bytom in Poland’s MHL recording another eight points (3-5-8) in ten games. He had some early U20 consideration and should be a strong candidate for next season. He is a good goal scorer, but a lot of his game needs refinement.

42 – Maciej Miarka (G), 19, JKH GKS Jastrzebie, (51, +9)

The main reason why Miarka is rising this year is me wanting to give goalies more credit, but I would call this a season Miarka might just want to bury and forget. It seemed no matter where the Lodz native went, he was lit up with not much help. He posted a .847 sv% for PZHL U23 in ten games as the team’s main goalie. Then at the U20 World Championship, in back-up duty, Miarka posted a .775 SV%, Poland needed a third-string with how bad he and Lipinski performed. In his two junior games, he posted a .891 sv% allowing 8 goals in two games. His lone bright spot came in five third-tier Czech U20 league games, where he posted .092 GAA. A season to forget for a very young and talented goalie who showed how promising they are at the U18 level previously.

41 – Armen Khoperia (D), 20, Zaglebie Sosnowiec, (32, -9)

Armen Khoperia dropped in the rankings through nothing of his own fault, just the inject of new talent and players making larger jumps. Khoperia had a great year becoming a full-time PHL defenseman at just 19-years-old. In 38 games between PZHL U23 and Zaglebie Sosnowiec, with a majority coming with Sosnowiec, the 6’2 defensemen posted four points (1-3-4). Khoperia is really developing well and should start working his way towards becoming a member of the senior national team. He represented Poland at the U20 World Championships this year, posting two assists in five games.

Khoperia

Players 40-31

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2019 Top 50 Polish Men’s U23 Players. #44-39

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 44 through 39.

Players 50-45

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

#44 – Jan Krzyzek (F), 18, SMS PZHL Katowice. Krzyek was one of the biggest risers this hockey season. A huge part of that was his stellar performance with SMS and a great showing at the U18s. He was tied for the lead in points on SMS at 29 (13G, 16A). He has a lot of good offensive skills that if he just continues to improve, could become lethal. I hope he has done enough to earn a chance to appear in the PHL next year for PZHL u23, as he has proven to be too good for the 2nd league.

#43 – Szymon Dobosz (F), 17, KH 58 Sanok. One of the reasons I like the Sanok team in Slovakia’s 3rd league is that fact that young talent gets a lot of chances in the men’s league. While yes the opposing talent isn’t that strong it still is a valuable experience of the players. One player who impressed in Sanok this year was Dobosz. The 16-year-old had 14 points (3G, 11A) in 15 games with Sanok. He was also a member of Poland’s U18 gold medal squad, where was the second young player on the team. In 5 U18 games, he recorded a goal and an assist. Dobosz has some great hands which really contribute to his strong scoring and playmaking ability.

 

 

 

 

 

#42 – Adrian Pawel Slowakiewicz (C/LW), 20, Podhale Nowy Targ. Slowakiewicz returned to Poland this year after starting off the season in the Slovak junior leagues. Slowakiewicz came to Poland and would be under the watch of Tomek Valtonen. He didn’t really get many chances from the team though. He was described by Valtonen as having the potential to be a good player, but he has to play.  Which was odd based on Valtonen used him. Slowakiewicz was hot coming into the season after having a good year with Bodens HF J20 in Sweden, but it was a step back of a year. Everyone sees potential in him, but he has to unlock it. 

#41 – Milosz Noworyta (D), 20, Unia Oswiecim. Noworyta is a solid defenseman and has a defensive first game. In a Poland future that is filled with defensemen that do like to rush the puck, there is a value in the stay home guys like Noworyta, especially at the young ages when players are still learning when to rush or pinch at the right time. He was able to handle 2 on 1s really well, cutting down angles at the U20s. Noworyta is also pretty good at breaking out the puck. He does sometimes make some unforced mistakes, but those should go away as he gets more and more experience. He really needs to play more in the top league with a solid team around him.

#40 – Jakub Prokurat (F), 18, Krefelder EV 1981 U20. Prokurat is a great offensive talent for Poland but had a bit of a rough season. The previous year, Prokurat established himself as potentially one of the top offensive players in Poland’s system. At 16 he tore up the Poland U20 league with 48 points (25G, 23A) in 26 games. He earned a spot on the Polish U18 squad and finished 4th on the team in points with 8 (3G, 5A). His great year earned him a spot with the Krefelder EV 1981 U20 in Germany. This team had two fellow top polish players; Maciej Rutkowski and Adam Kiedewicz. Prokurat only ended up playing 11 games with Krefelder this year, but still had time to show off his offensive skills with 1 goal and 6 assist in those games. He was then at the U18s for Poland again, where he recorded 3 assist in 5 games. While maybe a bit of rust from not getting to play that much. Prokurat still has a lot of potential and I hope to see him play more. One attribute that didn’t affect my rankings, but I wanted to point for Porkurat is that the kid seems to be a natural leader.

#39 – Jakub Blanik (F), 18, JKH GKS Jastrzebie. Speaking of leaders, Blanik was the captain for Poland at the U18s this year. Blanik has been tearing it up in the Poland U20 league. In the 2017-18 season, he led the league in points with 60 (25G, 35) in 28 games. This year he finished second, one behind the leader Filip Mazurkiewicz, with 62 (26G, 36) in 27 games. Blanik also had a 12 game run with PZHL u23, where he recorded one assist. The big key for Blanik next year is to continue playing against senior teams. He isn’t going to get better playing in the U20 league anymore, he needs stronger competition.

Players 38-33     Players 16-13

Players 32-27     Players 12-10

Players 26-21     Players 9-8

Players 20-17

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