Despite only one new qualifier from last week - the Rouen Dragons, this week could turn out to be all the more interesting. National Leagues across Europe slowly but surely carry on and could produce up to three new qualifiers for the 2021/22 Champions Hockey League season. Let’s take a look at where they could come from:
First off - Ligue Magnus. The French top flight crowned their National Champions the Rouen Dragons on Saturday and they have been confirmed as our latest qualifiers! The French Champions won their 16th national title and qualified for the CHL for the third time.
Regarding new qualifiers - Sweden looks most probable to produce new qualifiers this week. There are only three to five games remaining in the Regular Season of the SHL and leaders Rögle Ängelholm and current runners-up the Växjö Lakers have both already mathematically secured their places in the league’s playoffs. But will they qualify for the CHL and each secure one of the four remaining SHL qualification spots?
If everything goes according to schedule and no games are postponed or cancelled – yes. Rögle are expected to qualify this week, whilst the Lakers are highly likely to as well.
Neighbours Finland will not produce any qualifiers this week. Though the situation on the top of the Liiga table is the same as it was when we reported last week (Lukko Rauma in first place, IFK Helsinki in second), there are still between 15 and 11 rounds to be played and the standings can all be turned upside down in the upcoming weeks.
The situation is similar in the DEL. Five-time CHL participants Adler Mannheim are still leading the Southern Conference and Eisbären Berlin are still top of the Northern Conference, but both groups still have a long way to go before we can be certain of any CHL qualifications.
The ICE Hockey League produced last week’s qualifier KAC Klagenfurt, who followed HC Bolzano before them. The league’s third and final CHL spot will be determined through the Playoffs which entered the Quarter-Finals round over the weekend, so no news for now.
The Czech Extraliga is still in its Pre-Playoff phase, with the Playoff Quarter-Finals due to start this week. There is still a long way to go before the National Champions are crowned, but it is already certain that three-time CHL participants and 2018/19 CHL Semi-Finalists HC Pilsen will not be returning in 2021/22.
The fight for Poland’s sole CHL qualification spot, awarded to the National Champions, is heating up. The league has moved into the Semi-Final stage and the competition between the teams is tight! We will have a qualifier in the coming weeks.
Denmark’s Metal Ligaen is in its Quarter-Final stage, but yet again there are still a few weeks to go before the National Champions are crowned and the nations CHL representatives determined.
A league that could provide a new CHL qualifier this week is the Swiss National League. EV Zug are further extending their lead at the top of the table and are currently on a nine-game winning streak! Their Tuesday game has been postponed, but with two other matches planned, they are still likely to qualify by the end of the week.
The Belarusian Extraleague has moved into the Semi-Finals. Four-time CHL qualifiers Yunost Minsk are in contention for the title, but that will be decided in the coming weeks.
That's all for this week - follow our social channels to keep up to date about any new CHL qualifiers and tune in again next week for a more comprehensive overview of Europe's top leagues.