Junior Hockey League (Russia)

This article is about a Russian ice hockey league. For a list of minor league ice hockey leagues elsewhere, see List of ice hockey leagues. For ice hockey played by children, see Minor ice hockey.
Not to be confused with Russian Minor League.
Junior Hockey League
Sport Ice Hockey
Founded 2009
Motto Лига Сильных (Liga Silnykh, The League of the Strong)[1][2]
No. of teams 32
Country  Belarus (1 team)
 Kazakhstan (1 team)
 Latvia (1 team)
 Russia (29 teams)
Most recent
Loko Yaroslavl (1st title)
Most titles Omskie Yastreby (2)
TV partner(s) KHL-TV (Russia (as part of the NTV Plus package), International (through KHL's website))[3]
LTV7 (Latvia)
Kontinental Hockey League
Official website mhl.khl.ru

The Junior Hockey League (MHL)[4] (Russian: Молодежная Хоккейная Лига (МХЛ), tr. Molodezhnaya Hokkeinaya Liga), sometimes translated as the Minor[5] or Youth Hockey League,[6] is a major junior ice hockey league in Eurasia, founded in 2009. It currently consists of 39 teams from 7 countries.[7] Some of these teams are subsidiaries (feeder teams) for their respective Kontinental Hockey League professional counterparts, other teams are subsidiaries of teams of other leagues (VHL, BEL, PHL) and some teams don't have an affiliated team (e.g. Silver Lions). A player's age cannot be older than 20.[8] The Kharlamov Cup, named after star ice hockey player Valeri Kharlamov, is awarded annually as the Ice Hockey Federation of Russia's official Junior Championship,[9] following a 16-team playoff at the end of the regular season.

Teams in 2015–16

Junior Hockey League
Western Conference
Division Team City Arena Affiliate Team Joined league
North-West Almaz Russia Cherepovets Ice Palace Severstal Cherepovets 2009
Atlanty Russia Mytishchi Mytishchi Arena Atlant Moscow Oblast 2009
Dinamo Russia Saint Petersburg Yubileyny Sports Palace None 2013
Dinamo-Raubichi Belarus Minsk Sports Palace Dinamo Minsk 2015
Loko Russia Yaroslavl Arena 2000 Lokomotiv Yaroslavl 2009
SKA-1946 Russia Saint Petersburg Yubileyny SKA Saint Petersburg 2009
SKA-Serebryanye Lvy Russia Saint Petersburg Spartak Ice Palace None 2010
HC Riga Latvia Riga Arena Riga Dinamo Riga 2010
Central Amurskie Tigry Russia Khabarovsk Platinum Arena Amur Khabarovsk 2010
Berkuty Kubani Russia Krasnodar Ice Palace Kuban Krasnodar 2013
Krasnaya Armiya Russia Moscow CSKA Ice Palace CSKA Moscow 2009
MHC Spartak Russia Moscow Sokolniki Arena Spartak Moscow 2009
Russkie Vityazi Russia Podolsk Vityaz Ice Palace Vityaz Chekhov 2009
Sakhalinskie Akuly Russia Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk Arena City None 2014
Russia U18 Russia Khimki Novogorsk None 2015
HC MVD Russia Balashikha Balashikha Arena Dynamo Moscow 2009
Eastern Conference
Division Team City Arena Affiliate Team Joined league
Volga Irbis Russia Kazan TatNeft Arena Ak Bars Kazan 2011
Ladya Russia Tolyatti Volgar Sports Palace Lada Togliatti' 2013
Olympia Russia Kirovo-Chepetsk Olymp Arena None 2013
Reaсtor Russia Nizhnekamsk SCC Neftekhimik Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk 2009
Sarmaty Russia Orenburg Zvezdny Ice Palace Yuzhny Ural 2015
Stalnye Lisy Russia Magnitogorsk Magnitogorsk Arena Metallurg Magnitogorsk 2009
Tolpar Russia Ufa Ufa Arena Salavat Yulaev Ufa 2009
Chaika Russia Nizhny Novgorod Trade Union Sport Palace Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod 2009
Ural-Siberia Avto Russia Yekaterinburg KRK Uralets Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg 2009
Belye Medvedi Russia Chelyabinsk Traktor Ice Arena Traktor Chelyabinsk 2009
Kuznetskie Medvedi Russia Novokuznetsk Kuznetsk Metallurgists Sports Palace Metallurg Novokuznetsk 2009
Mamonty Yugry Russia Khanty-Mansiysk Arena Ugra Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk 2011
Omskie Yastreby Russia Omsk Arena Omsk Avangard Omsk Region 2009
Sibirskie Snaipery Russia Novosibirsk CSC Sibir HC Sibir Novosibirsk 2009
Snezhnye Barsy Kazakhstan Astana Kazakhstan Sport Palace Barys Astana 2011
Tyumensky Legion Russia Tyumen Sports Palace Tyumen Rubin Tyumen 2010


Seasons overview

Main article: Kharlamov Cup
Season Kharlamov Cup Winner Kharlamov Cup finalist Eastern Conference winner Western conference winner
2009–10 Russia Stalnye LisyRussia Kuznetskie MedvediRussia Stalnye Lisy (54 games, 135 points)Russia Krylya Sovetov (66 games, 119 points)
2010–11 Russia Krasnaya ArmiyaRussia Stalnye Lisy Russia Tolpar Ufa (53 games, 121 points) Russia MHC Khimik (56 games, 107 points)
2011–12Russia Omskie YastrebyRussia Krasnaya ArmiyaRussia Omskie Yastreby (60 games, 114 points)Russia Almaz (60 games, 128 points)
2012–13Russia Omskie Yastreby Russia MHC Spartak Russia Omskie Yastreby (61 games, 151 points)Russia Atlanty (64 games, 135 points)
2013–14Russia MHC Spartak Russia Krasnaya Armiya Russia MHC Bars (56 games, 135 points) Russia Loko Yaroslavl (56 games, 136 points)
2014–15Russia Chaika Nizhni Novgorod Russia SKA-1946 Russia Belye Medvedi (54 games, 124 points) Russia Loko Yaroslavl (56 games, 122 points)
2015–16Russia Loko Yaroslavl Russia Chaika Nizhni Novgorod Russia Omskie Yastreby (44 games, 93 points) Russia Loko Yaroslavl (42 games, 92 points)

2009–10 season

Main article: 2009–10 MHL season

In the first MHL season, 22 teams participated, all from Russia. The MHL opened its doors on September 4, 2009 in Moscow, when the first ever MHL game was played between MHC Dynamo and CSKA-Red Army with Dynamo picking up the historic 6–2 victory.

The 2010 Challenge Cup (Russian: Кубок Вызова, Kubok Vyzova), the all-star game of the MHL, was played on February 6 in the Ice Palace Saint Petersburg. Western Conference Team defeated Eastern Conference Team 6–4. The last matches of regular season were played on March 8, 2010. Steel Foxes Magnitogorsk won the Eastern Conference regular season and the overall MHL regular season with 135 points in 54 games. Soviet Wings won the Western Conference regular season with 119 points in 66 games.

The playoffs started on March 13, 2010. No teams of the Western Conference made it past the round of 16 of the playoffs. Steel Foxes and Kuznetsk Bears reached the playoff finals for the Kharlamov Cup. The first game of the best-of-five series between these two clubs was played on April 21, 2010. Steel Foxes won the first ever Kharlamov Cup after defeating Kuznetsk Bears 3–2 on April 26, 2010 and winning the series 3–1. Polar Bears and Tolpar lost the semi-finals series of the playoffs and played in a two-legged tie for the third place. The first match of the tie was played on April 20, 2010 on Polar Bears' home ice and the second leg on April 24 on Tolpar's home ice. Tolpar won both games, first 4–2, second 5–2 and clinched third place of the first season of the MHL.

2010–11 season

Main article: 2010–11 MHL season

The number of teams was expanded from 22 in the inaugural season to 29 in the second season. 8 new teams joined the league while Dynamo Moscow's junior team left the league. Sheriff, the junior team of HC MVD in the inaugural season, was moved to Tver and would serve as the junior team of UHC Dynamo in the second season. Feniks was renamed to MHC Khimik. MHC Krylya Sovetov was reunited with PHC Krylya Sovetov (playing in the VHL) and the MHL team of the newly reunited club was moved to Dmitrov. Among the new teams were teams from Belarus and Latvia, thus making the league international. Both conferences were divided into 2 divisions each.[10]

The regular season started on 4 September 2010 in Magnitogorsk with a match for the Opening Cup between last year's Kharlamov Cup playoffs finalists Steel Foxes and Kuznetsk Bears.[11] Steel Foxes won the match with 8 goals to 1.The 2011 Challenge Cup took place in Ufa on 12 February 2011. As in 2010 the match pitted the best players of the Western Conference on one side against the best players of the Eastern Conference on the other side.[12] In the West, MHC Khimik won the regular season, while in the East Tolpar Ufa was the winner.

The play-offs were for the first time separate in each conference, with the two winners meeting in the Kharlamov Cup final. In the final, the Red Army team defeated Steel Foxes Magnitogorsk with 4–0 wins.

2011–12 season

Main article: 2011–12 MHL season

For the 2011–12 season, a second division named MHL-B was established, which features mostly junior teams of VHL teams. A relegation and promotion system is in place between the MHL and MHL-B. The number of MHL teams was expanded from 29 to 32. One team, Krylya Sovetov, left the league, while 4 new joined: Tatranskí Vlci Spišská Nová Ves (the junior team of Lev Poprad), Kapitan Stupino, Snezhnye Barsy Astana (the junior team of Barys Astana) and Mamonty Yugry Khanty-Mansiysk (the junior team of Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk). Minskie Zubry were renamed to Dinamo-Shinnik and moved to Babruysk. Sherif were renamed to HC MVD and moved from Tver to Balashikha.

The 2012 Challenge Cup took place in Magnitogorsk on 11 February 2012. The first ever Future Cup (Russian: Кубок Будущего, Kubok Budushchego) took place in Chelyabinsk on 13 March 2012 and featured the best under-18 players (not born before 1 January 1994) of both the MHL and MHL B division.

The regular season winners were Omsk Hawks in the East and Diamond Cherepovets in the West. Omsk Hawks also made it to Kharlamov Cup final, where they defeated the Red Army team from Moscow with 4–1 wins.

2012–13 season

For their fourth season, the MHL expanded to Czech Republic and Hungary, with the junior team of HC Energie Karlovy Vary and Patriot Budapest joining. The two Russian teams Kristall Berdsk and HC Oktan Perm were promoted from MHL-B, while Ladia Tolyatti and Olympia Kirovo-Chepetsk were relegated. Slovak team Tatranskí Vlci withdrew from the league. These changes brought the number of teams up to 33, representing 6 different countries.

2013–14 season

For the fifth season, the league expanded to 40 teams, divided into two conferences with two divisions each. New teams are the junior team of EC Red Bull Salzburg from Austria, Molodaya Gvardiya from Ukraine and Dynamo Saint Petersburg. Ladya Togliatti, Olympia Kirovo-Chepetsk, Junior Kurgan and HK Chelny were promoted from MHL-B. Oktan Perm was renamed to "Molot". In September, after the season had already started, Patriot from Hungary withdrew from the league, leaving only 39 teams to play the season.[13]

International matches

Tour of North America 2010–11

In December 2010 and January 2011 a team composed of players playing in the MHL named the Red Stars toured North America and played 5 games there with the following results:

Date Arena City Home team Score Visiting team
28 December 2010 Tate Rink United States West Point, New York Army Black Knights 4–11 MHL Red Stars
29 December 2010 Ingalls Rink United States New Haven, Connecticut Yale Bulldogs 5–3 MHL Red Stars
1 January 2011 Gale Centre Canada Niagara Falls, Ontario GOJHL Golden Horseshoe Conference all-stars 4–7 MHL Red Stars
3 January 2011 Allman Arena Canada Stratford, Ontario GOJHL Mid-Western Conference all-stars 3–11 MHL Red Stars
4 January 2011 Wellington and District Community Centre Canada Wellington, Ontario Wellington Dukes 2–5 MHL Red Stars

World Junior Club Cup 2011

The city of Omsk hosted the inaugural World Junior Club Cup from August 30 to September 3, 2011.

Tour of North America 2011–12

As in 2010, the Red Stars (Russian: Красные Звезды, Krasnye Zvezdy), a team made of players who play in the MHL, toured North America. The opponents of the Red Stars were teams from NCAA Division I and NAHL.[14]

Date Arena City Home team Score Visiting team
17 December 2011 Ralph Engelstad Arena United States Grand Forks, North Dakota North Dakota Fighting Sioux 5–1 MHL Red Stars
19 December 2011 Runestone Community Center United States Alexandria, Minnesota Alexandria Blizzard 1–5 MHL Red Stars
21 December 2011 V.F.W. Sports Center United States Bismarck, North Dakota Bismarck Bobcats 2–1 MHL Red Stars
27 December 2011 Gutterson Fieldhouse United States Burlington, Vermont Vermont Catamounts 1–6 MHL Red Stars
28 December 2011 Ingalls Rink United States New Haven, Connecticut Yale Bulldogs 6–4 MHL Red Stars
30 December 2011 Berry Events Center United States Marquette, Michigan Northern Michigan Wildcats 3–2 MHL Red Stars
3 January 2012 Compton Family Ice Arena[15] United States Notre Dame, Indiana Notre Dame Fighting Irish 2–1 MHL Red Stars
5 January 2012 Tsongas Center United States Lowell, Massachusetts UMass Lowell River Hawks 6–4 MHL Red Stars

IIHF U20 Challenge Cup of Asia 2012

MHL Red Stars participated in the 2012 IIHF U20 Challenge Cup of Asia, the U20 edition of the IIHF Challenge Cup of Asia. Red Stars won all 4 of their games, with a total of 57–0 goals.[16]

Tour of North America 2012–13

Date Arena City Home team Score Visiting team
23 December 2012 Bright Hockey Center United States Allston, MA Atlantic Junior Hockey League 2–11 MHL Red Stars
27 December 2012 Tate Rink United States West Point, NY Army Black Knights 2–6 MHL Red Stars
28 December 2012 Ingalls Rink United States New Haven, CT Yale Bulldogs 10–2 MHL Red Stars
30 December 2012 Harbour Station Canada Saint John, NB UNB Varsity Reds 7-3 MHL Red Stars
31 December 2012 Aitken Centre Canada Fredericton, NB UNB Varsity Reds 5–2 MHL Red Stars
2 January 2013 Meehan Auditorium United States Providence, RI Brown Bears 7–1 MHL Red Stars

IIHF U20 Challenge Cup of Asia 2013

The MHL Red Stars participated in the 2013 IIHF U20 Challenge Cup of Asia. The tournament was held in Khabarovsk. The Red Stars won the game against South Korea but lost against Japan, finishing second in the tournament.[17]

Tour of North America 2013–14

Game against Merrimack Warriors cancelled due to severe weather concerns according to North American sources.[18] Game ended 5 goals to 4 after a shootout according to Russian sources.[19][20][21]

Date Arena City Home team Score Visiting team
23 December 2013 Tsongas Arena United States Lowell, MA Eastern Hockey League[22] 4–5[23] MHL Red Stars
27 December 2013 Ingalls Rink United States New Haven, CT Yale Bulldogs[22] 6–3 MHL Red Stars
29 December 2013 Bright Hockey Center United States Allston, MA Harvard Crimson[22] 9–3[24] MHL Red Stars
31 December 2013 Starr Rink United States Hamilton, NY Colgate Raiders[22] 3–2[25] MHL Red Stars
2 January 2014 Lawler Rink United States North Andover, MA Merrimack Warriors[22][26] 5–4 SO[19][20][21] MHL Red Stars
3 January 2014 Lynah Rink United States Ithaca, NY Cornell Big Red[22] 6–0[27] MHL Red Stars


  1. "YHL Calendar September" (PDF) (in Russian). Minor Hockey League. Retrieved 16 August 2010.
  2. "MHL.KHL.RU header" (in Russian). Minor Hockey League. Retrieved 31 August 2010.
  3. "Телетрансляции матчей МХЛ – уже с ноября!". KHL.ru. Retrieved 2009-11-03.
  4. http://mhl.khl.ru/en/about/?ELEMENT_ID=1966
  5. "KHL Junior Draft Is Over". KHL.ru. Retrieved 2010-01-09.
  6. "The Future is Now". khl.ru. Retrieved 2009-10-15.
  7. О Лиге (in Russian). mhl.khl.ru. Retrieved 2012-05-16.
  8. https://conwaysrussianhockey.wordpress.com/2015/05/13/changes-coming-in-russian-junior-hockey/
  9. http://en.khl.ru/news/2009/7/2/13693.html
  10. Все участники Чемпионата (in Russian). Minor Hockey League. 6 August 2010. Retrieved 10 August 2010.
  11. Утвержден Календарь Чемпионата МХЛ (in Russian). Minor Hockey League. 5 August 2010. Retrieved 10 August 2010.
  12. Кубок Вызова пройдет в Уфе (in Russian). Minor Hockey League. 5 August 2010. Retrieved 10 August 2010.
  13. «Патриот СКЕКС» не примет участие в Чемпионате МХЛ (in Russian). mhl.khl.ru. 2013-09-26.
  14. Youth Hockey League press service (October 6, 2011). "Красные Звезды" определились с наставниками (in Russian). Youth Hockey League. Retrieved October 22, 2011.
  15. Svyatozar Ivanov (October 20, 2011). Америка готовится к приезду "Красных Звезд" (in Russian). Youth Hockey League. Retrieved October 22, 2011.
  16. "2012 IIHF U20 Challenge Cup of Asia". iihf.com. 2012-06-01.
  17. "2013 IIHF U20 CHALLENGE CUP OF ASIA Khabarovsk, RUSSIA". INTERNATIONAL ICE HOCKEY FEDERATION. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
  18. http://www.eagletribune.com/sports/x12768168/Merrimack-hockey-game-with-Russian-team-cancelled
  19. 1 2 Junior Hockey League press service (2 January 2014). "Red Stars VS Merrimack. 4:5 (Б)" (in Russian). Junior Hockey League website. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
  20. 1 2 Junior Hockey League press service (3 January 2014). "Red Stars уступили по буллитам" (in Russian). Junior Hockey League website. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
  21. 1 2 HC Salavat Yulaev press service (2 January 2014). Не везёт в серии буллитов (in Russian). HC Salavat Yulaev website. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
  22. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Junior Hockey League Press-service (1 November 2013). "MHL selects RED STARS to tour U.S.". Junior Hockey League website. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
  23. HNIB Staff (23 December 2013). "Eastern Hockey League All Stars battle Russian Red Stars". HNIB News. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
  24. http://gocrimson.com/sports/mice/2013-14/releases/20131229tlb3r7
  25. http://gocolgateraiders.com/news/2013/12/31/MHOCKEY_1231135921.aspx?path=mhock
  26. "Men's Ice Hockey Announces Time Change for Russian Red Stars; Now 4 p.m. Puck Drop". 13 December 2013. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
  27. Cornell University Athletics Staff (3 January 2014). "Men's Hockey Routs Russian Red Stars". Cornell University Athletics. Retrieved 4 January 2014.

External links

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