Kontinental Hockey League Regular Season Preview 2017/2018

The Russian based hockey league KHL takes a head-start once again this season, with the puck drop already in August 21st. Referred as the best league in the world after the NHL, KHL has attracted some big name Russian players from across the Atlantic – maybe due the NHL’s decision not to take part in the Olympics in February 2018.

KHL has had a tumultuous presence through their existence, with teams coming and going. Last year a Chinese team Red Star Kunlun was added and this season sees Medvescak Zagreb dropping out as well as Metallurg Novokutznetsk going under. Traditional giant Dynamo Moscow was also in financial trouble, but miraculously came up with the necessary funding at the last minute – after losing a handful of key players due to unpaid salaries.

An odd number of 27 teams continue their hunt for the Gagarin Cup, with 56 regular season games played per team in two conferences. Top-8 of the conference make it to the playoffs after the regular season is finished 1st of March 2018.

For the past couple of seasons there’ve hardly been any big surprises. The richest and the biggest teams have gathered an all-star level rosters and it seems impossible for smaller budgets to take them by surprise. Yet again this season it seems that SKA St. Petersburg and Metallurg Magnitogorsk will take their conferences by storm and leave only crumbs for other teams such as CSKA Moscow, Avangard Omsk and Salavat Ufa.

Accuscore’s simulations indicate that even with the conference leaders far up front, there’ll be a fierce battle for playoff-spots lower in the standings. It’s a close race with plenty of teams within a couple of wins.

Here’s how the regular season will play out according to Accuscore’s simulations:

WEST

TEAM

POINTS

 

EAST

TEAM

POINTS

1

SKA St. Petersburg

133

 

1

Metallurg Magnitogorsk

104

2

CSKA Moscow

123

 

2

Salavat Ufa

91

3

Dyn. Moscow

106

 

3

Avangard Omsk

91

4

Lokomotiv Yaroslavl

104

 

4

Bars Kazan

90

5

Sochi

102

 

5

Tractor Chelyabinsk

87

6

Jokerit

86

 

6

Yekaterinburg

86

7

Nizhny Novgorod

85

 

7

Barys Astana

86

8

Din. Minsk

83

 

8

Sibir Novosibirsk

80

9

Podolsk

76

 

9

Lada

79

10

Slovan Bratislava

71

 

10

Amur Khabarovsk

71

11

Sp. Moscow

67

 

11

Vladivostok

67

12

Cherepovets

66

 

12

Niznekamsk

63

13

Dinamo Riga

56

 

13

HC Yugra

62

       

14

Kunlun

53