Date:  Source: Elite Ice Hockey League

Cardiff Devils coach Andrew Lord says he has no preference on who his team could possibly draw in the Champions Hockey League.

The two-time Elite League winning coach is in Copenhagen ahead of tomorrow’s draw and will be one of the guests invited on stage to help pull out the pucks.

And he admits no matter who Devils get, it will be another tough campaign, but one he’s excited to be part of again.

“I don’t have any preference on who we get, but I wouldn’t mind another Swedish team again as they’re considered one of the best leagues in Europe,” he said.

“We feel very fortunate to be representing the Elite League in this competition and we’re looking forward to it again.

“Somehow I’m going to be one of the guys helping to pull the pucks out so I’ve been trying to learn the names, so I hope I don’t mess up too badly.

“There’s really no easy group for us at all, but last year, I didn’t realise until after, we had one of the toughest groups.

“Other coaches were coming up to me and telling me we would find it hard with the teams we got, but we pulled out a couple of wins which was fun.”

The Welsh side impressed on their maiden campaign last year, picking up two wins form their six games, but unfortunately didn’t progress beyond the group stage.

It was a group that contained eventual CHL runners-up Vaxjo Lakers, from Sweden, semi-finalists Bili Tygri Liberec of Czech Republic and Swiss outfit HC Davos.

Lord though is excited to be back at Europe’s top table again and as someone who follows other leagues across the continent, he’s pleased to be among the other top names.

He added: “The whole process from start to finish, from the draw, to meeting those teams at the vent and playing them, seeing different countries and taking part, it’s an unbelievable experience.

“Last year, I was like a kid in a candy store to be honest. I’ve always followed other league then to see some of those teams, meeting their coaches and managing directors was great.

“It’s a fun event and everyone’s more relaxed at something like this, where they’ll talk more and go through things.

“To qualify isn’t easy, having to win your own championship, but we’ve been lucky enough to win it two years in a row.

“It’s amazing to be back again and it’s fun we’ve been through it once so we know what to expect this time.”

The Champions Hockey League draw takes place at the Royal Arena, Copenhagen at 3pm UK time and will be shown live on Free Sports TV and CHL platforms.

PHOTO: Dean Woolley

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