Youth Hockey League
The Youth Hockey League (YHL) was founded on March 26, 2009 by 20 professional clubs from the Kontinental Hockey League, the KHL’s holding company and the Russian Hockey Federation. It remains the only youth sporting project of this scale and scope in Russia, and forms part of the KHL’s contribution to the 2009: Year of Youth project in the Russian Federation.
Distinguished coach Vladimir Yurzinov was elected chairman of the league, Dmitry Yefimov is the executive director.
Currently the league comprises 22 clubs from 19 Russian cities, involving more than 570 players aged 16-21. These numbers are set to grow – several clubs have already applied to join the league in 2010.
The league’s main aim is to promote and develop youth hockey in Russia, elevating it to a higher level. For the first time Russia’s emerging hockey-playing talent has a domestic league of its own, exactly like the adult championships. The league’s first season began on September 4, 2009, and the inaugural winner of the Kharlamov Cup will be decided after the playoffs in April 2010.