The North Stars' new head coach and general manager Brayden Klimosko said he expects to be a hands-on coach and continue the team's winning tradition.
Klimosko's appointment was announced at a press conference Tuesday. He takes over from outgoing coach Brandon Heck, who had just one season behind the Stars' bench. On the ice, Klimosko played in the SJHL with the Humboldt Broncos for three seasons from 2006 until 2008. In 2007 and 2008 Klimosko was a part of the league championship team and he won the Anavet Cup and a national championship in 2008 with the Broncos.
Behind the bench, Klimosko began his coaching career in his hometown with the Humboldt Broncos as an assistant coach and assistant GM, and served as their Marketing Manager from 2013 until 2017. Most recently, Klimosko was the assistant coach of the Drumheller Dragons in the AJHL, where they went 33-22-5 for third place in the Viterra South Division.
During the press conference yesterday, Klimosko answered many questions about his decision to join the North Stars.
On becoming the new head coach and GM of the Stars:
It’s definitely an exciting day for me ... You always want to be a head coach, especially in this league, and to have the opportunity in Battleford here is pretty special for me. The passion and fan support you have in this town and organization is second to none, and I’m looking forward to joining this team.
On what he hopes to bring to the table:
You guys definitely have a winning tradition here. I’m going to be a hands-on coach. That’s the way I’ve learned and that’s what I think suits my skills the best. I’m going to be hands-on with these kids on a day to day basis. In the new NHL you want to be playing fast. That’s obviously what you’re going to want to do with a good transition game and with the SJHL. One thing you’re going to need to do is play defense. We’re going to be a team that’s tough to play against, with a good complete level. All those little things that are going to win hockey games, then championships.
On his application process and coming to North Battleford:
I didn’t apply right off the bat. It took me a little bit of time. The accident was near and dear to my heart in Humboldt and it was tough and I wasn’t sure if I was even going to coach again ... The one thing that is most important to me is that it’s close to home. It’s really only two hours away and I have a lot of friends in Saskatoon and family, so it’s not that far off.
On how he will replace some of the missing offense from previous years:
It would be nice to have Layne Young for one more year. Everyone would love that. I don’t think that there’s a better Junior A hockey player in Western Canada than Lane Young, so, obviously, that’s going to be hard ... You’re going to have to lean towards some of those veteran guys, and also Wylie Reindeau has done a really good job of recruiting some players in here and you can use his knowledge and what he’s doing here. He’s done a great job of recruiting. We’re going to fill that void in a different way. You’re not going to find a Lane Young; that’s a player that you may not find for another decade.
On the team he wants on the ice this year:
Fast paced team, good on transition and good on the defensive zone, battling hard in our defensive zone, and then some creativity in the offensive zone. That’s where you’re going to be creating chances and creating some goals. I want a team that will be pressuring all over the ice. For you to be able to pressure, you've got to be able to skate and work hard. You’re going to have to roll four lines. It's going to be a team with all hands on deck. It’s going to be exciting and I’m looking forward to it.
When we should expect a new coaching staff:
I don’t know when that will happen. I’m not sure if we’ll open it up to the public, but I know that Wylie has a couple names that might be interested that might work out here too. I don’t have a timeline here, but the first task at hand for me is to talk to the returning players. That’s what I’ll be doing for the next week or so.
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