EXETER, NEW HAMPSHIRE — World Hockey Group (WHG) and Total Package Hockey (TPH), in partnership with the Panthers IceDen, are proud to announce a ‘first-of-its-kind’ youth hockey tournament, the 2022 Champions League. This invitation-only event is the first and only youth hockey event to have international teams face off to decide one World Champion. Featuring 2008-born winter club teams from the United States, Canada, Sweden, Finland and Russia, the Champions League will be hosted at the Panthers IceDen, from Dec. 28, 2021 – Jan. 2, 2022.
“The idea of the Champions League is something that’s been on my mind for a long time,” said WHG’s Chief Executive Officer, Travis Bezio. “With the resources that we have in various countries around the globe, as well as working alongside TPH and its team, we were able to bring this vision to life.”
Similar to the Little League World Series in youth baseball, the Champions League will feature the absolute best youth hockey teams, from various countries, in a six-day spectacle set to take place in Coral Springs, Florida. Participating teams will be divided into groups for pool play. Groups will be composed of teams from various countries so that pool play provides unique, unparalleled international competition. After completing five preliminary-round games, teams will qualify for either the championship rounds or consolation rounds, based on in-pool standings. In the championship rounds, teams will compete in an elimination-style playoff, where the World Hockey Group and Total Package Hockey will award youth hockey’s first ever world champion.
“We couldn’t be happier to be a part of this world-class event,” said TPH’s Chief Executive Officer, Nathan Bowen. “At TPH, we strive to be the world leader in positively impacting the lives of student-athletes, and hosting the Champions League with World Hockey Group creates an opportunity to make a real impression on hockey families across the global hockey landscape.”
The state-of-the-art Panthers IceDen, the practice facility for the NHL’s Florida Panthers in Coral Springs, Florida, will be home to the Champions League this holiday season.
“We’re thrilled to host the first-ever 2022 Champions League Youth Tournament at Panthers IceDen,” said Panthers IceDen General Manager Keith Fine. “Our Coral Springs-based athletes and the South Florida community will have the opportunity to watch elite youth hockey talent compete from all over the world for this special weekend tournament.”
The Champions League runs parallel to the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) under-20 world championships. With both events running simultaneously, the hockey world will now get to experience top-notch international competition at the amateur and youth levels at the same time.
“There’s nothing like this anywhere in youth hockey,” said Bezio. “There are many opportunities in the spring and summer to compete in international tournaments, but when it comes to in-season, winter club competition featuring Swedish versus American teams, Canadian versus Russian teams, Czech against Finnish teams, those matchups are extremely rare. The Champions League is designed to bring the top teams from around the world together for a week of the most competitive hockey you’ll find at the youth level.”
Currently, 16 teams have formally accepted invitations to the inaugural event, and any interested teams are welcome to apply at worldhockeyhub.com/champions-league.
The list of currently accepted teams are:
|Ak Bars (Russia)||Los Angeles Jr. Kings (United States)|
|CSKA Moscow (Russia)||Mid-Fairfield Jr. Rangers (United States)|
|Czech Knights (Czech Republic)||SDE Hockey (Sweden)|
|Dinamo Minsk (Belarus)||Seacoast Performance Academy (United States)|
|Dynamo Moscow (Russia)||SKA Yunost (Russia)|
|HoneyBaked (United States)||Tappara (Finland)|
|Kiekko-Espoo (Finland)||Toronto Jr. Canadiens (Canada)|
|Little Caesars (United States)||Windy City (United States)|
About World Hockey Group: The worldwide leader in youth hockey tournaments and events. World Hockey Group (WHG) provides more than two dozen unique events in exotic locations around the globe. The team at WHG is deeply involved in the youth hockey community, with an international presence in various countries including the United States, Canada, Sweden, Finland, Russia and central Europe. WHG prides itself on providing world-class competition along with a first-class travel experience. Events like the Champions League and World Selects tournament series offer amazing opportunities abroad both on and off the ice for the entire family to enjoy.
About World Hockey Hub: The Pulse of Youth Hockey. World Hockey Hub (WHH) is your number one resource for the latest news, team rankings, highlights, analysis and more from the world of youth hockey. WHH is the worldwide leader in providing global coverage of the game year-round. With an international rankings system, a comprehensive list of more than 100 tournaments, event ratings and reviews as well as the latest team and prospect news, WHH is your one-stop-shop for everything youth hockey related.
About Total Package Hockey: Founded in 2001, it is Total Package Hockey’s (TPH) vision to become the world leader in positively impacting the lives of student-athletes through sport. TPH prides itself on operating at a standard that exceeds expectations of student-athletes, families, coaches, teachers, advisors and all other entities within both athletic and academic circles. With platforms that include association management, elite prospects programs, tournaments and showcases, camps and clinics and its hallmark Center of Excellence academy model, TPH services over 10,000 student-athletes on an annual basis, throughout 15 U.S. based divisions.
About Panthers IceDen: The Florida Panthers IceDen is a community facility that hosts over 1 million annual guests in the tri-county area. Located in Coral Springs, Fla. the 125,000-square-foot facility is the official practice facility of the Florida Panthers. The Panthers IceDen is home to the Coral Springs Makos, Youth Hockey Leagues, Learn To Skate, Learn To Play as well as figure skating lessons, making it the perfect location to serve families in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach Counties. For more information on Panthers IceDen and its offerings, please visit PanthersIceDen.com or follow @PanthersIceDen on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.