We keep on moving and are now in the top 15. This is one of my favorite groups of players. We have our top-ranked goalie, the biggest riser of the 2022 season, our first player that didn’t play in Poland, and a personal favorite dark horse of mine. This is the group where we start to look past PLHK stars and look for players with a chance of playing outside Poland. Outside of Poland, they could be strong contributors to Poland’s team in the EWHL or a team abroad.
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.
15 – Zuzanna Rduch (F), 19, UKH Biale Jastrzebie (19, +4)
I am a big fan of Rduch; she was one of the most critical forwards to her team in the PLHK. In 2022, she led UKH Biale Jastrzebie in points with 29 (17G-12A-29PTS) in 16 games. She was a part of Tychy for the playoffs, where she added another assist in two games. Her 30 points saw her finish 19th in the league overall and eighth among U20 skaters. I am curious why she hasn’t received much consideration from the national team for senior or junior chances in her career. She could be a big fish in a small pond. A full season with Tychy will be more telling for her potential.
14 – Nadia Ratajczyk (G), 17, Stoczniowiec Gdansk (NR)
Ratajczyk comes in as our top-ranked goalie after a solid showing at the U18s. She also did play in two games for Stoczniowiec Gdansk, where she stopped 19 of the 21 shots she faced in two blowout wins. Ratajczyk played more at the U18s, where in four games, she finished with a .896 sv%. A bit of that is misrepresented by a match versus Chinese Tapai, excluding that seven shot match, she finished with a .914 SV%. Poland must start looking at who is next behind Sass, and Ratajczyk put on a good audition.
13 – Natalia Nosal (D), 17, Podhale Nowy Targ (50, +37)
Last year, Nosal only barely made the list, coming in at the final spot number 50. She was more than a pleasant surprise in 2022, both at the U18s and in the PLHK. In the PLHK, the young defenseman was a strong puck mover for Nowy Targ, posting 11 points in 11 games. Eight of those points were her putting the puck in the net, which was ninth among all defensemen. At the U18s, she showed well and played with much poise defensively in my limited viewing. She also posted two assists in the four games, which tied her for the lead in points on team Poland. Nosal also fired off 19 shots at the tournament, which was among the best for Poland.
12 – Anna Kot (D), 18, Unia Oswiecim (17, +5)
Kot showed up strong in her final U18 season. Increased production in the PLHK, made the Polish U18 squad, and made a few appearances in the EWHL. Kot’s strong year starts with her best career season for Unia Oswiecim. In 15 games, she posted 12 points (6G-6A-12PTS). This was second among U18 defensemen in points. She also played four games for Metropolis Katowice, Poland’s EWHL club. In her four games, she picked up one assist. Her amazing year was topped off with being an assistant captain of Poland U18, where she scored a goal in four games.
11 – Julia Skręt (F), 17, Södertälje SK (7, -4)
Julia Skręt is the first player on the list this year who did not play in Poland. Skręt spent the year in Sweden’s division one with Södertälje SK. There, in 21 games, she recorded one goal and one assist. Playing a lot in Sweden will only aid her growth as a complete player. Skręt also competed for Poland at the U18s, where she went pointless in four games with three shots. The slight drop is due to disappointment in the production numbers, but it will take time to adapt when you step up to a new league. She did return to her club in Sweden for the 2022-23 season.
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