The Champions Hockey League is an ice hockey tournament in Europe held annually since 2014-15. The tournament is completed by the top teams from the first-tier ice hockey leagues in various countries of Europe.

The 2020 Champions Hockey League is the 6th season of the tournament and as it has been since 2018, there are 32 teams that will participate in the competition with 24 of the teams coming from the six founding leagues-Swedish Hockey League, Finnish Liiga, Swiss National League A, Czech Extraliga, German DEL and Austrian/international EBEL with berths earned via on-ice achievements. The 8 remaining spots are awarded to the champions from the Norwegian, Slovakian, French, Belarusian, Danish, British and Polish leagues plus the winners of the Continental Cup.

The 32 teams are divided into 8 groups of 4. These are the groupings for the 2020 Champions Hockey League:

Group A Teams

  • EC KAC
  • Tappara
  • EHC Biel
  • Frisk Asker

Group B Teams

  • HPK
  • EV Zug
  • HC Plzen
  • Rungsted Ishockey

Group C Teams

  • Lulea HF
  • Bili Tygri Liberec
  • Augsburger Panther
  • Belfast Giants

Group D Teams

  • Ocelari Trinec
  • Lausanne HC
  • Pelicans
  • Yunost Minsk

Group E is composed of SC Bern, Karpat, Skelleftea AIK, and Bruleurs de Lups. Group F includes Adler Mannheim, Djurgardens IF, Vienna Capitals and GKS Tychy.  while Group G is made up of Farjestad BK, Red Bull Munchen, HC Ambri-Piotta and HC ’05 Banska Bystrica. Meanwhile, Frolunda HC, Graz 99ers, Mountfield HK and Cardiff Devils comprise Group H.

Each team will play its groupmates twice-one at home and one away for a total of six games per team. The top two teams per group will advance to the Round of 16. The 8 group winners will play the 8-second-place finishers and the pairings are drawn randomly. Starting the Round of 16 and except in the final, the pairs will play two games against each other with the aggregate score deciding which team advances. If the aggregate is tied, sudden death overtime will decide the winner. If both teams fail to score during the overtime period, a shootout will decide the winner. The final will be played on home ice of the team with the better tournament record.

Last year, Frolunda HC won their third Champions Hockey League title by defeating Red Bull Munchen. Red Bull is the first German team to reach the Champions Hockey League final. Frolunda HC is the current hockey betting favorite to win again next season.

Here are the odds to win the 2020 Champions Hockey League. These odds were taken from TitanBet as of 7/25/19:

Team Odds
Frolunda HC +500
Farjestads BK +750
Lulea HF +750
Karpat Oulo +850
Tappara +1100
Djurgardens IF +1200
Skelleftea AIK +1400
SC Bern +1400
EV Zug +1800
HC Liberec +2000
Pelicans +2000
Adler Mannheim +2200
EHC Red Bull Munchen +2200
HC Ocelari Trinec +2200
HPK Hameenlimma +2200
HC Plzen +2800
EHC Biel +2800
Lausanne HC +3300
Augsburger Panther +4000
HK Mountfield +4000
Vienna Capitals +4000

Who Are The Favorites? 

Frolunda FC is the winningest team in this young tournament. They have won three out of the first five installments of the Champions Hockey League including three out of the last four. They are the reigning champions after defeating German side Red Bull Munchen 3-1 in the 2019 Final.

Farjestads BK in the Swedish Hockey League regular-season champion team. Their victory in 2019 was their 10th overall win in the SHL and with their last four championships, they are the most successful Swedish ice hockey team in the 21st century.  After defeating HV71 in the quarterfinals of the 2019 Swedish Championship playoffs, they lost to Djurgardens 3-4 in the semifinals.

Lulea HF also plays for the Swedish Hockey League. They boast of never playing in a promotion/relegation qualifier since entering top flight in 1984. They won the Swedish title in 1996 but have not been able to replicate the same success since then. They finished second to Farjestads BK in the SHL regular season and were lost to Frolunda FC in the semifinals.

Karpat Oulo plays in the top tier league Liiga in Finland. They are one of the more successful teams in the Finnish top league during in the last two decades and they have won the Finnish title a total of eight times. This is Karpat’s 5th appearance in this tournament.

Tappara was the regular-season runner-up in Finland’s Liiga. They have won a total of 14 Finnish championships with the last two coming in 2016 and 2017. This will mark their 6th appearance in the Champions Hockey League.

Who Wins?

The 2020 Champions Hockey League will start on August 29, 2019, and by the looks of it, Frolunda FC is going to be tough to beat. Save for captain Joel Lundqvist who is 37 and David Printz who is 38, the current members of the team are aged 31 or younger meaning this dominant team is still good for a couple of more years of championship runs. The Indians have won three out of the first five editions of the Champions Hockey League and are the reigning champions. Unless someone kicks them off the pedestal, I’m not going to doubt this young and talented squad. Prediction: Frolunda HC

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