Junior Hockey League
Junior Hockey League (Russia)
Sport Ice Hockey
Founded 2009
Motto Лига Сильных (Liga Silnykh, The League of the Strong)[1][2]
No. of teams 39
Country(ies) Flag of Austria.svg.png Austria (1 team)
Flag of Belarus.svg.png Belarus (2 teams)
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg.png Czech Republic (1 team)
Flag of Kazakhstan.svg.png Kazakhstan (1 team)
Flag of Latvia.svg.png Latvia (1 team)
Flag of Russia.svg.png Russia (32 teams)
Flag of Ukraine.svg.png Ukraine (1 team)
Most recent champion(s) Chaika Nizhny Novgorod (1st title)
Most championship(s) Omskie Yastreby (2)
TV partner(s) KHL-TV (Russia (as part of the NTV Plus package), International (through KHL's website))[3]
LTV7 (Latvia)
Official website
Related competitions Kontinental Hockey League

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) 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 2013–14Edit


Seasons overviewEdit

Main article: Kharlamov Cup
SeasonGold medal icon Kharlamov Cup WinnerSilver medal icon Kharlamov Cup finalist Eastern Conference winner Western conference winner
2009–10 Flag of Russia.svg Stalnye LisyFlag of Russia.svg Kuznetskie MedvediFlag of Russia.svg Stalnye Lisy (54 games, 135 points)Flag of Russia.svg Krylya Sovetov (66 games, 119 points)
2010–11 Flag of Russia.svg Krasnaya ArmiyaFlag of Russia.svg Stalnye Lisy Flag of Russia.svg Tolpar Ufa (53 games, 121 points) Flag of Russia.svg MHC Khimik (56 games, 107 points)
2011–12Flag of Russia.svg Omskie YastrebyFlag of Russia.svg Krasnaya ArmiyaFlag of Russia.svg Omskie Yastreby (60 games, 114 points)Flag of Russia.svg Almaz(60 games, 128 points)
2012–13Flag of Russia.svg Omskie Yastreby Flag of Russia.svg MHC Spartak Flag of Russia.svg Omskie Yastreby (61 games, 151 points)Flag of Russia.svg Atlanty (64 games, 135 points)
2013–14Flag of Russia.svg MHC Spartak Flag of Russia.svg Krasnaya Armiya --
2014–15Flag of Russia.svg Chaika Nizhny Novgorod Flag of Russia.svg SKA-1946 --

2009–10 seasonEdit

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 seasonEdit

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 seasonEdit

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 seasonEdit

Main article: 2012–13 MHL 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 seasonEdit

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 matchesEdit

World Junior Club Cup 2011Edit

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

IIHF U20 Challenge Cup of Asia 2012Edit

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.[14]


  1. "YHL Calendar September" (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!". Retrieved 2009-11-03. 
  5. "KHL Junior Draft Is Over". Retrieved 2010-01-09. 
  6. "The Future is Now". Retrieved 2009-10-15. 
  7. (in Russian). Retrieved 2012-05-16. 
  10. (in Russian). Minor Hockey League. 6 August 2010. Retrieved 10 August 2010. 
  11. (in Russian). Minor Hockey League. 5 August 2010. Retrieved 10 August 2010. 
  12. (in Russian). Minor Hockey League. 5 August 2010. Retrieved 10 August 2010. 
  13. (in Russian). 2013-09-26. 
  14. "2012 IIHF U20 Challenge Cup of Asia". 2012-06-01. 
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