While the remaining World Championship teams prepare for the quarter-finals, others plan for the upcoming season. Today the draw of the Champions Hockey League was held at the Royal Arena in Copenhagen.
2018/19 will mark the second season of the CHL with the new format and before starting the draw, the CHL talked about an exciting past season and satisfaction with the new format that only allows the top teams of many countries and leagues in Europe – except the Russian-based Kontinental Hockey League that chose not to participate – to play in the competition whether they are shareholder of the organization or not.
The format that brought success continues and 32 teams including many national champions were put into four different pots according to the criteria and ranking of the CHL.
Beside chairman Anders Ternbom, CEO Martin Baumann and sport director Alexander Jager from the CHL two coaches were involved in the draw: Sam Hallam of Swedish champion Vaxjo Lakers and Andrew Lord of British champion Cardiff Devils. Former Canadian Olympian Tessa Bonhomme, who works in Copenhagen for the World Championship host broadcaster, moderated the draw.
The 32 teams were drawn into the following groups:
- Group A: ZSC Lions Zurich (SUI), Vienna Capitals (AUT), Frolunda Gothenburg (SWE), Aalborg Pirates (DEN)
- Group B: EHC Red Bull Munich (GER), TPS Turku (FIN), Malmo Redhawks (SWE), Yunost Minsk (BLR)
- Group C: Bolzano Foxes (ITA), Skelleftea AIK (SWE), IFK Helsinki (FIN), GKS Tychy (POL)
- Group D: Kometa Brno (CZE), Eisbaren Berlin (GER), EV Zug (SUI), Neman Grodno (BLR)
- Group E: Djurgarden Stockholm (SWE), Tappara Tampere (FIN), Ocelari Trinec (CZE), Storhamar (NOR)
- Group F: Karpat Oulu (FIN), Mountfield Hradec Kralove (CZE), Nuremberg Ice Tigers (GER), Rouen Dragons (FRA)
- Group G: Vaxjo Lakers (SWE), SC Bern (SUI), Red Bull Salzburg (AUT), Cardiff Devils (GBR)
- Group H: JYP Jyvaskyla (FIN), HC Plzen (CZE), HC Lugano (SUI), HC'05 Banska Bystrica (SVK)
The CHL includes champions and other top teams from 12 different leagues including this year’s Continental Cup winner, Yunost Minsk from Belarus. JYP Jyvaskyla from Finland is the defending champion.
For more information visit www.championshockeyleague.com.