Work of ethic of Humboldt’s Brayden Klimosko paying off with the Battlefords North Stars

 

It seems like wherever Brayden Klimosko goes, success follows him.

Growing up in the Humboldt Minor Hockey system, he was a part of numerous championship teams, highlighted by a pair of championships with a AA U-18 team in Humboldt that was more than capable of playing against AAA opponents for two years.

Several members of that AA U-18 team in Humboldt joined Klimosko with the SJHL’s (Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League) Broncos team in 2005 that would go on to win back-to-back league championships (2007-08).

He even found success in other sports like football, winning a league title with the HCI (Humboldt Collegiate Institute) Mohawks squad.

Following his playing career in hockey, Klimosko began a coaching career in his hometown. He became the assistant coach with the Broncos and would serve three seasons in Humboldt before he headed to Alberta, where he spent one season with the AJHL’s (Alberta Junior Hockey League) Drumheller.

In 2018, the Humboldt product received his first head coaching job after he was hired by one of his former rivals, the Battlefords North Stars.

He said despite the awkwardness of coaching the away bench at the Elgar Peterson Arena during his initial season with the North Stars, the Battlefords area welcomed him and his family with open arms.

“It’s been my home since.” said the 35-year-old. “Very friendly community that loves their hockey, very similar to Humboldt.”

During his first campaign with Battlefords, Klimosko led the team to a league championship in 2019.

The North Stars finished the 2019-20 regular season as the top team in the league standings before the cancellation of  the 2020 SJHL Playoffs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Battlefords head coach says a big part of his achievements with the North Stars is due to the support the hockey team receives begins with their board of directors. Every director volunteers their time at each North Star home game along with the administrative duties allowing the North Stars bench boss a chance to focus more on the hockey aspect of the franchise.

This past December, Klimosko added to his already impressive coaching resume as he served as the assistant coach for Canada West at the World Junior A Challenge in Cornwall, Ontario. He says it was an eye-opening experience to witness some of the best junior players on an international stage.

“You think that you know good players and you see good players, it’s just another level there.”

The Humboldt native does not have to look far to find a pair of excellent coaching influences. His father, Tim, coached him throughout his minor hockey career before joining the Broncos as an assistant coach.

Dean Brockman was the head coach for Klimosko during his time with the Broncos. Brockman would later move up in the coaching world as he was hired by the Western Hockey League’s (WHL) Saskatoon Blades and Swift Current Broncos after he led the Broncos to four league championships.

Besides his dad and Brockman, the North Stars head coach says he gained valuable tutelage from the coaches he worked with as an assistant including Ryan Smith (current Spokane Chiefs head coach), the late Darcy Haugan, and Kevin Hasselberg.

In his four seasons as an assistant coach, the Humboldt product feels very fortunate about the head coaches he worked with.

He also noted coaches from other sports that he played, like Shaun Gardiner of the HCI (Humboldt Collegiate Institute) Mohawks football, helped him install some valuable coaching techniques.

This year, the North Stars are the talk of the country, they currently sit on the CJHL (Canadian Junior Hockey League) rankings with a flawless 29-0-2-1 record heading into Friday’s action.

Battlefords holds a 16-point edge over the Flin Flon Bombers and La Ronge Ice Wolves for the top spot overall in the SJHL.

Despite a near-perfect record, the North Stars head coach says his team have the desire to improve.

“Just a hungry group they get along in the room which is the main thing, it makes such a difference day in and day out.”

Battlefords has become a model of their head coach, with the North Stars team built on a strong work ethic. Klimosko says the team’s captain Jake Southgate is one player that brings his best effort each and every night and says that Southgate’s work ethic is a primary reason why the hometown North Star landed a scholarship with Lindenwood University.

With the playoffs still over a couple of months away, even with a comfortable cushion in the SJHL standings, the North Stars are not looking too far ahead since they carry a big target on their backs according to their coach.

“I really expect some teams to come after us really hard, trying to find ways to beat us, which is good, we want that, we want that challenge, we want that adversity day in and day out.”

After multiple SJHL championships as a player, Klimosko now finds himself in a strong position to duplicate the feat, this time behind the bench of the Battlefords North Stars.

 

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