About the League
All Eastern Conference playoff contenders were confirmed on February 26th. Snezhnye Barsy Astana beat Sputnik Almetyevsk, thus securing the post-season for themselves and Reaktor Nizhnekamsk, while Belye Medvedi Chelyabinsk clinched the last berth.
Snezhnye Barsy, coached by Sergei Starygin, got 67 points in 57 games. Vyacheslav Kasatkin’s Reaktor Nizhnekamsk have the exact same number of points. Belye Medvedi Chelyabinsk are currently eighth in the conference with 66 points in 57 games.
Kazakhstan team returns to Kharlamov Cup Playoffs after a 2-year absence. Last time Snezhnye Barsy competed for Kharlamov Cup was back in the 2015-16 season. That was also the most successful season in franchise history as Astana made it to the second round of the playoffs.
Reaktor Nizhnekamsk are defending bronze medalists of Junior Hockey League. Last season Nizhnekamsk lost in the semifinal round to Loko Yaroslavl, who went on to win the Kharlamov Cup. A year before that Reaktor made it to Kharlamov Cup Finals only to lose it to Krasnaya Armiya Armiya, who won their second championship title.
Belye Medvedi Chelyabinsk also won bronze medals last season. The team gave SKA-1946 St. Petersburg a good run for their money in the semifinal round but still ended up losing the series. Chelyabinsk also won bronze medals in two consecutive years – 2014 and 2015.
Two playoff berths are still available in the Western Conference. 7th and 8th places are disputed by three teams - JHC Spartak Moscow, Krylia Sovetov Moscow and SKA-Varyagi St. Petersburg.