The first Gazprom Neft Cup KHL Kids Hockey Tournament took place in 2007. Open to children of up to 11 years old, and run on a “divisional” or group model, it is now the most important children’s hockey tournament in Europe.
All tournament-related expenses (including team accommodation, subsistence and transportation), as well as organisational of the opening and closing ceremonies, all matches, advertising and media relations, the prize fund and tournament souvenirs, training seminars for coaches, and an excursion programme for competing teams, are met by Gazprom Neft.
The level of organisation of the Gazprom Neft Cup is unprecedented for a children’s competition: matches are referred by professional linesmen, games are played on ice arenas certified for KHL matches, and tournament action is covered by leading sports media. The ultimate trophy of the tournament (the Gazprom Neft Cup, produced by the same master craftsmen as the Gagarin Cup, the most important hockey trophy in Russia). Every year the cup is engraved with the name of the winning team, and remains in their ownership until the following tournament. Winners of the Gazprom Neft Cup since its being awarded the status of the official KHL kids’ tournament are Avangard (2010), Traktor (2011), AK Bars (2012), CSKA (2013, 2014), Dinamo (Moscow, 2015), and Lokomotiv (2016).
Match TV was the tournament’s main partner in 2016, with European Media Group Ltd, the Championat.com website and the Sport-Express newspaper information partners. Corporate partners included CCM and Honka.