The draw for the XII Gazprom Neft Cup International KHL Kids Hockey Tournament took place in Sochi on 14 February. First places in the draw went to the teams with the highest ratings, based on their performances in previous tournaments. The top two teams in each group will enter the playoffs. The Gazprom Neft Cup Super Final, which pits against each other the winners of the East and West groups, will be held as usual at the Omsk Arena on 25 April 2018. A total of 26 teams from six countries (Belarus, Germany, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Russia and Finland) will compete in the tournament this year. Jungadler Mannheim from Germany will join the competition for the first time.
“The tournament will open with intense battles and colourful posters. Omsk’s own Avangard will play Salavat Ulaev, while Lokomotiv Yaroslavl will face three-time winners CSKA in Sochi. It will be interesting to watch how the first-timers perform in 2018. New to the Gazprom Neft Cup will be Vladivostok’s Admiral and Germany’s Jungadler Mannheim, whose participation in the tournament was announced by the German Ice-Hockey Federation. This broadens the tournament’s geographical reach, and affirms its status as Europe’s most important kid’s hockey tournament,” said Alexander Dybal, Chairman of the Tournament Organising Committee and Member of the Gazprom Neft Management Board.
“This will be the twelfth Gazprom Neft Cup, and each year the tournament grows in prestige, attracting the participation of more and more countries. Its organisation now meets the highest professional standards. After all, these young players are the future of European ice-hockey. The tournament presents a wonderful opportunity for young ice-hockey players to take the first steps in their careers and make a name for themselves. I am confident that in a few years, fans will see the best players from the Gazprom Neft Cup in the MHL, and ultimately the KHL. I wish the boys the best of luck and may the strongest team win!” said Sergey Dobrokhvalov, KHL Vice President for Marketing and Communications.
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