The Kindersley Jr. Klippers are looking for another year of growth in 2024-25. Staying busy with trades, signings, and most recently the SJHL draft; Klippers head coach and GM Clayton Jardine has been hard at work with the rest of the front office planning ahead for next season.

Right beside Jardine in the team's war room is Klippers assistant GM Ryan Gibson. With the draft still fresh on his mind, WestCentralOnline picked Gibson's brain for a more in-depth look at the Klippers picks headed into next season.

"We were very happy with the '08 portion, having two firsts is big." began Gibson, as the Klippers first pick of the draft was Triston Mitchell-McElhone from nearby Flaxcombe.

"As close to local as you can get."

The Klippers then selected what they felt was another high-end pick in Kash Ringdal, and then a potential goaltender of the future in Jackson Dunn. Kobi Weber and Cohen Toprowski were another two picks, the '08 draft being finished off by a pick out of Rosetown that Gibson feels could be a steal.

"Leo Sander, big long kid with lots of potential, and we just have to wait on it." he said as they look forward to watching those prospects grow.

The SJHL draft also featured a shorter draft for '09 born players. The Klippers selected Hudson Sayers in the first round of that draft, the second pick being Graydon Neumeier out of Kerrobert.

"Two guys we feel can come in and make an impact for us before they are done U18, so hopefully at 16, 17 years-old." 

Excited to see the draft class in-person, Gibson added some more names joining the prospect list come camp in August. SJHL teams are able to designate "auto-protected" players from their home community.

"They don't count towards our 50-man list until we actually activate them to be on our roster full time. This year we added goalie Drake Chester, '08 forward Tyce Perkins, and '09 forward Kaine Thiessen. Once again, three guys we feel can probably play for us full time down the road.

Looking to keep a strong tradition of local players in Kindersley going, Gibson knows how important they are to an SJHL franchise.

"Local kids help get local people in the rink. It's big for us to add them, and we are excited to see what they can do over the next year or two growing and developing, and hopefully they can be full-time Klippers as well one day.

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Those moves are looking towards the future, as the Klippers also made a few transactions to help the team right now. Adding some veteran experience to the team, Gibson was asked about what went into their recent additions.

"Anytime you get to add guys that have 2-3-4 years of junior experience, you have to sit down and take a hard look and figure that out." he said. "Will Christian, coming to us as a 19-year-old next year, already has three years of experience... Tristan Taylor, just won a North American League championship in Lone Star, and the year prior went to the (BCHL final) in Alberni... Dawson Karol, big body, plays hard plays fast, and was part of two deep playoff runs in Flin Flon."

Seeing Karol first hand in their return to the playoffs against the Bombers, a sweep, Gibson and the rest of the organization certainly knew they had to add some more experience.

"I think that was part of our demise in the first round this year... didn't have guys with those playoff games under their belt. Adding guys that have significant experience there, and then obviously Shayne Tibbles as well, went to the league final in the AJHL with Whitecourt this year."

Hoping to be better equipped for a playoff run this year, next season's work is set to get underway in August.

"I think August 31 is the first day of camp. That Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and then (we will) roll that over into some exhibition games."

After that the Klippers season starts September 20, more on that below, as everyone around the Klippers team is certainly getting an itch for hockey season.

"Can't wait to get all these kids out to Kindersley, and hopefully continue to build on what we put in motion last season."