CALGARY, Alta. – With it being National Coaches Week in Canada, the Canadian Junior Hockey League continues to offer insight provided by those who guide their respective clubs from behind the bench, and on the ice, during practice.
The latest installment in this series comes from Brayden Klimosko, the head coach and general manager of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League’s Battlefords North Stars.
In two seasons leading Battlefords, Klimosko helped his side post a solid regular season record of 80-24-7-5 along with an impressive .741 winning percentage.
His efforts also led the North Stars to a SJHL Canalta Cup league playoff championship in 2018-19 as a rookie head coach.
The 2019-20 campaign was on track to be equally as successful as his club finished first overall in the 12-team standings before the season was halted due to COVID-19.
Here’s some further information of the Battlesfords bench boss, along with insight on drills and guidance he offers to those looking to play in the CJHL.
BIO: Klimosko was named co-recipient of the SJHL’s coach of the year award in 2019-20 and was a finalist for CJHL coach of the year honours. … His team was tabbed ninth overall in the final CJHL Top 20 rankings for 2019-20. … He is an alumnus of the CJHL, having played three full seasons with his hometown Humboldt Broncos (SJHL) from 2005 through 2008. … Klimosko spent three years as an assistant coach with Humboldt and one with the Drumheller Dragons (AJHL) before being appointed to his current role with the North Stars in 2018.
FAVOURITE PRACTICE DRILL: This drill is one of the player’s favourites as well. It’s a four-on-two, small area game.
It makes players to compete at a high level and make quick decisions.
This focuses on quick releases on offence and battling when defending.
It helps work on the power play, penalty kill as well as at even strength and makes for a highly competitive drill.
ADVICE ABOUT PLAYING IN THE CJHL: Be ready to put in the work. Everyday you can focus on getting better.
There’s lots of time in the day to work on your game. Workouts, video, extra practice time, just to name a few.
It’s not where you are at in September. It’s the work you put in is going to determine where you are at as a hockey player in February.
NEXT UP: Corey Beer, head coach Timmins Rock (NOJHL)
Photo credit: John Cairns/Battlefords News–Optimist