Building the Herd – Zach Sullivan

#?? Zach Sullivan

Position: Defence

Born: Parts Unknown, England

Announced as signed: 24th May, Bison website

 

Bison coach Doug Sheppard today announced another new addition to the Herd with the addition of Great Britain under 18 and under 20 international Zach Sullivan from the Slough Jets.

Sullivan played under 18s hockey in Swindon as a 15 year old before joining Invicta Dynamos in the ENL as a 16 year old in 2010/11. During that season Sullivan scored 1 goal and 10 assists for 11 points in the ENL as well as 10 points in 6 games for the Guildford Phoenix under 18s team.

Zach started last season with Invicta before moving to Slough full time only 5 games into the season. Sullivan iced in 48 games for Slough tallying 7 assists and 14 PIMS as well as 1 assist as the Jets won the playoffs at Coventry.

Sullivan, who turns 18 in July also iced last season for both the GB u18 and u20 sides.

I know the above seems inordinately short but there’s not that much to go on. At most, some Bison fans will have seen 6-8 appearances from Sullivan last season and with his career in senior hockey not being that long at the moment, it’s hard to know what to write without waffling like a bigger idiot than normal.

Sullivan has had something of a breakout year and is now highly regarded as one of the top prospects in the EPL. Described by one Slough fan on THF as the best Jets defenceman last season, Sullivan seems to have really made an impression on the Jets faithful. Jets match night DJ, PR man and all round good egg, Mark Denholm’s verdict to me was, “he is a fantastic signing. Great prospect, plays with maturity well beyond his years. (He) can play special teams, good skater with such a well developed hockey sense already. You got a good one there for sure.”

From what I’ve seen of Sullivan, I like him. Players in facecages stand out in the EPL because of their headgear but in terms of ability, Sullivan never looked out of place. I’ve harped on for 3 years about how Sam Oakford plays “beyond his years” and how Elite League teams should be looking at him; Sullivan is no different in that respect. To be getting regular shifts in the EPL at his stage as well as powerplay and penalty kill time means we have a genuine prospect on our hands and teams from the EIHL should be paying attention to this season as with the talent that Sheppard is putting into this Bison lineup, there is a lot of potential for Sullivan to get noticed in a big way and have a big year.

That said do not expect a ton of points from Sullivan, that’s not his game. He’s a low points, low PIMS, stay at home guy who will look after his own zone first which we need with the loss of Oakford and with Dan Harris’ status for next season still unknown. Sullivan’s not a big guy at 5’9” but has time to add size to his frame and what he lacks in size he makes up for in hockey sense. It appears we’re getting a very special player with a long career ahead of him.

Welcome to the Herd, Zach. Hopefully you’ll enjoy life in a half visor.

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