SJ/MJ SHOWCASE ROSTERS ANNOUNCED.
The Ironhorse Kindersley Klippers Hockey club, together with the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League and the combined committee of coaches and staff tasked with nominating and voting on the rosters set to represent the SJHL at the upcoming SJ/MJ Showcase are pleased to congratulate Klippers forwards Tyler Traptow, Ty Enns; Defenseman Blake Kleiner and Goalie Justen Close respectively on their invitations to showcase their skills in front of NCAA Div 1, U-Sport, and Professional Scouts.
This is the second time the Showcase has pitted the best the Manitoba Jr League has versus the top players in the Saskatchewan League. The 2018 edition of the SJ/MJ Showcase saw the SJHL teams go a combined 5-1 over the visiting Manitobans, with the lone MJHL win being backstopped by Vancouver Canuck’s draft pick/ Maine commit Matthew Thiessen, then of the Steinbach Pistons now playing with the Dubuque Fighting Saints of the USHL.
The SJHL and MJHL will both field 3 teams apiece; one made up of players under the age of 18 and two made up players who are 20 and under. Each team will play two games.
All of the Klippers representatives will be slotted into the latter grouping, with 20-year olds Justen Close, Blake Kleiner, and Ty Enns and 19-year old Tyler Traptow making the trip to Regina.
Justen Close, last season’s SJHL Goalie of the Year, carries a 2.04 GAA and .930 Save percentage into the Showcase similar to his 2.71 GAA and .923 Save % from 2017-18. Justen is tied for the league lead with 16 wins, a feat even more impressive when considering Zach Johnson has been entrusted with more of a 1A role backstopping the Klippers in 12 games, already surpassing his 6 game appearances last season. When asked for comment, Justen mentioned…” it’s a good opportunity, always a neat experience to play with guys from across the league. It’s especially fun this year to share this with my teammates that have also been selected.”
Tyler Traptow, a 19 year old centerman from Calgary, AB is settling into top-line minutes with the Klippers since returning from a mid season knee injury and seems to be finding his stride at the right time. Tyler has registered 15 points in 25 games while being matched defensively against the opposition’s top scoring line. “I am excited and honored to be included on the team, although we all know there are a lot of deserving players here from our team. I look forward to the exposure this event brings and the opportunity to represent the Klippers and the SJHL,” adds Traptow.
Blake Kleiner, the Klippers Powerplay QB on the back end will take his M9 Bazooka of a slapshot and 19 points in 33 games to Regina. Blake, who hails from Lethbridge, AB joined the Klippers last season after parts of two seasons with the Drumheller Dragons of the AJHL. Blake has already established a new career high in points only 33 games into this season while playing the effective defensive game Assistant Coach Larry Wintoneak has asked of him. “This is a big opportunity for me and my teammates. I look forward to enjoying my time and doing what I do at the Showcase” commented the veteran blue-liner.
Ty Enns wasted no time lighting up the SJHL since being acquired from the Bonneyville Pontiacs and the rest of the league has definitely taken note. The perennial point-per-gamer has done no less as a Klipper going for 16 in 15 while simultaneously providing scoring opportunities for linemates Kyle Bosch (17 pts in 15 games) and Austin Nault (16 pts in 15 games) since his arrival. Ty will take the Showcase as an opportunity to catch up with old friends and teammates, having spent two seasons with the Portage Terriers of the MJHL, winning the Championship in 2016-17.
“I am excited for these four individuals as they are very deserving of this opportunity to showcase themselves. I feel we have more guys that have worked hard all year and should be joining these four, but we have been proving people wrong all season and will continue to do so.” Added Klippers Head Coach and GM.
Both Jardine and Darien Lynch have been asked by the League to contribute as Coach and Trainer respectively at the event.
The Klippers are currently 2nd overall in the League, 3 points behind the Nipawin Hawks with two games in hand. Without doubt there is a case to be made for the Klippers to have 5 or 6 more players included on the Showcase roster, but a strength of this team has been the balance offensively and the ability to roll lines and maintain an attacking style for three periods. The Klippers currently have 11 players with 15 points or more, a testament to the depth of talent sporting the Double K’s.
This year’s Showcase will be televised on SaskTel Max TV and MaxTV Stream Monday Jan, 14th and Tuesday Jan, 15th for those not able to make the trip to Regina.
Next home action comes vs the Battlefords Stars on Friday January 18th in a huge divisional tilt.
*Klippers $100,000 mega lotto 50/50 draw will be made Sat Feb, 9th. Get your ticket today!
*Valentines Day Laughs and Love Supper and Comedy event tickets now on sale. Thursday Feb, 14th with cocktails, 5- course supper, and show to follow.