Had a bit of time on my hands, so did some analysis of the season 84 groups and teams etc. Everything based on the teams' overall rank in HA.
Huittisten Huima - rank #1 in HA - (team strength/Avg AI top 17 = 543)
HC Tesla - rank #2 (520)
HC Koretz´s Devils - rank #4 (511)
HC Zagorje Red Miners - rank #5 (511)
Of the top 26 teams in HA based on the above, 7 don't even get into the World League - those ranked 3rd, 12, 19, 20, 21, 22 and 25.
Yet 2 teams ranked >800 DO play. Just down to relative strength of Leagues really.
Participants (Season 85)
HA Rank / Number of teams
1-100 / 44
101-200 / 18
201-300 / 13
301-400 / 8
401-500 / 6
501-600 / 2 - (teams from Belgium, Colombia)
601-700 / 2 - (Israel, Kazakhstan)
701-800 / 1 - (Lithuania)
800+ / 2 (Kazakhstan, Netherlands)
Group wise, there's a great deal of difference....
Taking the average rank of all 6 teams in each group, we find some "easy" groups and some really difficult ones. In fact in one group the WORST ranked team is 99th in HA. In most other groups they would have been in the 3 strongest teams, but not in this particular group. In fact, they would actually have been the BEST ranked team in one other group!
And the 2 teams ranked outside the top 800 teams in HA? Both somehow end up in the same group!
So, listing the groups by Average ranking of the teams in their group, from easiest to toughest....
Group G - average rank 363
Group E - 311
Group C - 303
Group M - 251 - the one group without a team ranked in the top 100 in HA
Group F - 223
Group D - 214
Group K - 189 - 3 teams in the HA World's top 25 here!
Group B - 187
Group H - 176
Group I - 162
Group O - 146
Group A - 143
Group J - 128
3rd toughest group - Group L - average team rank 122 - - 3 teams in the HA World's top 25 here!
2nd toughest group - Group P - avge 76
And the toughest group for any team to progress from includes the teams with these rankings in the HA World....8th, 14th, 35, 40, 73 and 99
This is GROUP N. The 2 teams advancing from this group will really have earned it!
Thanks for this work, really interesting! No wonder why I was finding my group (P) unusually tough!!! :O