Building the Herd – Sam OakfordPosted: 18/04/2011
#21 Sam Oakford
Born: Ascot, England
Announced as signed: Bison website, 18th April 2011
Again not a great shock seeing as how he was meant to be on a 2 year contract but we got an announcement for him anyway. The return of Sam Oakford is something that will please everyone in Bisonland.
Sam appeared in 41 EPL games scoring 2 goals and 8 assists for 10 points. His point production was down on last season but he did miss 10 games of the season due to injury. Oakford also scored a vital goal in the EPL Cup Final in Slough.
There’s a saying about stay at home defencemen; like referees, if you don’t notice them then they’re doing a good job. This means for the most part that Sam Oakford does a very good job as I generally won’t notice that much on the ice. Given his role as a stay at home, shutdown guy you will only generally notice him when he’s out on the powerplay or when he’s made a mistake.
The rest of the time he just calmly gets on with his work being the anchor at the back where he’ll play alongside Mindy Kieras or Kurt Reynolds, both defenders who like to go forward and join the rush. Oakford just hangs back and keeps an eye on things; he’s cool, calm and collected.
It’s incredible to think that come the start of this upcoming season, Oakford will only just be turning 21. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, he plays well beyond his years and I am convinced he’s one of if not the most under rated player in EPL hockey. There are very few players who at his age can play to that standard as well as being a leader on the team and all this in the midst of doing his degree.
I know that at least 1 EIHL head coach is very keen on Oakford and we do face the possibility that he’ll move on to bigger and better things after this season but he deserves that due to his ability level. He will play for GB one day, I am certain of that. Until that day, we can just enjoy watching him.
According to the website we have another announcement at 11am on Tuesday 19th April. We’ll see who it is. Welcome back Sam.