The draw for the 2017-18 Champions Hockey League was made this afternoon in Cologne Germany.

Elite League champions Cardiff Devils were drawn in Group E

They will be joined by HC Davos (Switzerland), Bili Tygri Liberec (Czech Republic) and Vakjo Lakers (Sweden).

Nottingham Panthers, who qualified by winning last season’s Continental Cup, were drawn in Group F.

They will face Mountfield HK (Czech Republic), TPS Turku (Finland) and SC Bern (Switzerland).

The group stage starts on 24th August and finishes on 11th October. The 32 teams are divided into eight groups of four and each team plays six games – one home and one away against the other three teams in its group. The first and second placed teams in each group then advance to the playoff stage.

With 16 teams in the playoffs, four rounds are required to determine the European club champions. The first three rounds are all two-game, home-and-away, aggregate-scoring series, similar to the previous seasons.

The playoffs start on 31st October and finish with the ultimate one-game final on 6th February 2018.