This season, the NHL returned to their Global Series with events in China and Sweden. Both were considered successes, and now the league has released their plan for the 2018-19 season, which will include four different international cities.
In the preseason, the Global Series Challenge will continue in Switzerland and Germany, while regular season games will be played in Sweden and Finland. The New Jersey Devils, Edmonton Oilers, Florida Panthers and Winnipeg Jets will be the four teams representing the NHL, all four with international stars leading the way.
On October 1st, the Devils will take on SC Bern in Bern, Switzerland, an opportunity for standout rookie Nico Hischier to play once again in his home country. Hischier is the highest ever draft Swiss-born player, selected first overall in 2017.
October 3rd will bring the Oilers to Kolner Haie in Cologne, Germany, to face off against the club team coached by Leon Draisaitl’s father. Draisaitl is from Cologne, and will be a huge draw for the NHL squad in the preseason match.
The season will then be kicked off by a game between the Devils and Oilers in Gothenburg, Sweden, where Oscar Klefbom, Adam Larsson and Jesper Bratt should all be among the prime attractions. Obviously, a matchup of Connor McDavid vs. Taylor Hall is exciting wherever it is, and the league knows marketing their young superstars is an important part of expanding the global brand.
Just a month later, on November 1st and 2nd, the Panthers and Jets will face off in Helsinki, Finland. It’s easy to understand the draw for this game, as Aleksander Barkov and Patrik Laine are among the best Finnish players in the entire league. They’ll put on quite a show for the fans in Helsinki, a city the NHL has visited several times before.