Continental Cup Groups announced
by Andy POTTS |21 JUN 2024
Nomad Astana's player celebrate after winning the 2024 IIHF Continental Cup. Who will come out on top in 2025?
photo: © International Ice Hockey Federation / James Assinder
Tournament starts 20 September, Slovakia returns to the competition
From Reykjavik in the North Atlantic to Kokshetau in the heart of Kazakhstan, 20 teams from across Europe today discovered their path to Continental Cup glory.

The IIHF’s biggest club competition will see its 27th edition in 2024/25, with the action getting underway on 20 September. That’s the start date for the first of four rounds, culminating in a four-team final to be played as a round robin on 16-19 January, 2025.

Vlci Zilina enters the contest this year, bringing Slovakia back into a tournament where its team have enjoyed great success in the past. The most recent Slovak entrant, Nitra, who lifted the cup in 2023, was the fifth team to take the trophy back to the Tatras. No other nation can match Slovakia’s five Continental Cup titles. However, it’s also the Wolves’ first appearance in this competition. Previously, Zilina featured in the 2007 European Champions Cup after the club won its only Extraliga title in 2006.

Nine teams are returning from the 2023/24 season, including finalists Cardiff Devils (GBR) and GKS Katowice (POL). They will enter the competition in the third round in November. Cardiff will travel to Zilina along with 2019 champion Arlan Kokshetau and a qualifier from the previous round. The Kazakh team is the only previous winner in this year’s tournament and will look to defend the title won by compatriots Nomad Astana last season.
In the other semi-final group, GKS heads to Denmark to face Aalborg Pirates, Bruleurs de Loups Grenoble (FRA) and another qualifier. The third group stage is slated for 15-17 November.

The top two teams from each group advance to the final four in January at a venue to be chosen from among the competing teams.

Earlier, the action starts in Estonia and Bulgaria where the first round will run from 20-22 September. Irbis Skate welcomes Crvena Zvezda (SRB), Sisak (CRO) and Liege Bulldogs (BEL) to Sofia in Group A, while in Group B Narva hosts Energija (LTU), Skautafelag Reykjavikur (ISL) and Jaca (ESP) in Estonia.

The winners of those groups advance to stage two. The top team from Group A will head to Italy, where Rittner Buam hosts Acroni Jesenice (SLO) and Sokil Kyiv (UKR). Group B’s champion goes to Romania to meet host team Corona Brasov, Ferencvarosi (HUN) and HK Mogo (LAT). The second round is scheduled for 18-20 October.