Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League

Justen Close wins Goalie of the Year.

The SJHL has named Kindersley Klippers netminder Justen Close as the SaskTel Goaltender Of The Year.

The 1998 born Kindersley product shared the award with Nipawin’s Declan Hobbs a year ago and just narrowly edged Hobbs this time to make it two years in a row he’s had his name engraved on the plaque.

Close has three shutouts and has had nine other games in which he allowed just one goal. He’s allowed more than three goals in a game only four times in 38 appearances.

Close is ultra-competitive and his ability to stay focused and always stay on his game are a couple of reasons why he’s found himself near the top of all major statistical categories for SJHL goalies.

“He’s so athletic,” says Klippers coach Clayton Jardine. “He has a great mindset and never gets rattled. Everyone can see how well he plays the puck too. He’s flexible and moves quickly and knows how to use his frame to fill up the net. He’s mature and his character is off the wall.”

Close also recently committed to the Minnesota Golden Gophers (NCAA) and is the first known Saskatchewan born and trained player to be recruited by the Gophers in recent memory, maybe ever. In fact, only four other Canadian players have played with the Gophers in the last 35 years.

Congratulations to the Sasktel Goaltender Of The Year, Justen Close of the Kindersley Klippers.