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Champions Hockey League

Who wins the Champions Hockey League 2018/2019?

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In the 2018-2019 edition of the Champions League, the fifth season of the tournament, past performances will hold a lot of weight. Without knowing every team involved at this point, its safe to assume who the front runners will be once again.

Last season's champion JYP from Liga will be a strong contender to repeat. It doesn't seem as though they'll lose any players to the NHL by next Champions League season, so they should walk into the tournament with a relatively similar roster. While they did have a fairly easy run to the final in this past year's tournament, they have a fairly young roster at an average age of just 26 years old. Their captain, and team leading scorer Jarkko Immonen may slow down in his point production, as he will be 36 years old by the time the tournament starts, JYP has lots of young scoring to depend on from the likes of Antti Suomela, and veterans like Juuso Puustinen; the 29 year old Fin has proven to be a prolific scorer at every level he has played at, and has been a staple on the JYP since his arrival in the summer of 2017.

It's hard to ever count out Frolunda HC in any league, especially the Champions League. The two-time CL champions had a poor showing in this past year's tournament, losing to Bii Tygri Liberec in overtime in the first round. However, that didn't stop the CL's all-time points leader Ryan Lasch from putting up 15 points in only seven games during this year's tournament. The American is only 31 years old, and shows no signs of slowing down, having his second best season in the SHL at age 31, and was only one point shy from tying his career high. While Frolunda will almost definitely lose Rasmus Dahlin to the NHL as he will likely go first overall in the this summer's entry draft, the team is young and improving. With an average age of under 25, there is plenty of firepower on this team left after Dahlin makes his way to North America. They boast nearly 600 games of NHL experience on their roster, mostly coming from Adarm Pardy and Joel Lundqvist, and have a pair of 25-year old goaltenders who are nearing their prime.

SC Bern is slotted in for next year's CL league, and very well could be a dark horse in the tournament. While they won't be unnoticed coming into the tournament, a team from the NLA has never won the tournament. SC Bern could be on the verge on changing that, as they have an experienced team, chalked full of nearly 1000 games of NHL experience, and over 6000 games of NLA experience, including a few 2018 Olympians such as Mason Raymond and Mark Arcobello. Swiss national Gaeten Haas can't be overlooked either, after notching 40 points in 45 NLA games this past season (his career high), as well as six points in 10 CL season games; at the age of 26, Haas is certainly entering his prime as well. Much of their success will depend on GM Chatelain's and Director of Scouting Leuenberger's ability to find new, young talent, and a solid backup goalie for veteran Leonardo Genoni.