Building the Herd – Stuart Mogg

#94 Stuart Mogg

Position: Defence (utility)

Born: Basingstoke, Hampshire

Announced as signed: Bison season ticket night, 2nd June

Keeping it local; former Bison junior Stuart Mogg will be back in Bison colours next season. (c) 5 Hole Photography

Keeping it local; former Bison junior Stuart Mogg will be back in Bison colours next season.
(c) 5 Hole Photography

With the news of Tomas Hiadlovsky’s return still ringing in the ears of the Bison fans from the morning, Doug Sheppard furthered his statement of intent with 3 signings at the club’s “Season Ticket Night” with the first being the return of Stuart Mogg.

Speaking to Banners On The Wall, Mogg said, “I’m honoured to be back wearing a Bison shirt again. It was always a dream of mine to play hockey for my home town and I hope to be doing it for years to come. We had a huge success last season winning the league and I hope we can continue to bring back silverware to Basingstoke. We have the best fans in the league and I can’t wait till September to retain our title!”

To say Mogg had a good 2015/16 is like saying rain is a bit wet as the 21 year old enjoyed a break out year in EPL hockey. Mogg played the entire season, scoring EPL best totals of 8 goals and 18 assists for 26 points career high 16 penalty minutes but the bigger story was the rise of Mogg from a bit part forward in to 2nd team all-star defenceman in 3 and a half seasons.

Mogg started in the Bison junior system, scoring impressive numbers with the Bison under16s before moving to Slough’s junior setup in 2010. Mogg made his senior hockey debut in the Jets ENL2 side as well as playing for the Jets under18s and dressing for 1 lone EPL appearance in 2010/11.

Mogg had a very busy 2011/12 as he notched up 57 games playing for 4 different Slough teams including 38 points in 14 games for the under18s, 13 points in 12 games for the ENL2 Jets and 19 points in 29 games for the ENL1 Jets with 2 guest appearances for Slough’s EPL side.

To start 2012/13, Mogg moved to Canada and opened the campaign with the Toronto Attack of the Greater Metro Hockey League scoring 5 points in 23 games before heading back to Britain and joining up with the Bison, appearing in 12 games under Doug Sheppard.

Mogg, mainly being used as a forward was part of the double winning side of 2013/14 and started 2014/15 up front before injuries saw him drop back to defence and excel in the later part of the season and saw him announced as a defencemen for 2015/16. Mogg did make appearances as a forward when injuries demanded and continued to play as a forward on the penalty kill for the Bison en route to his best ever season personally and the club’s lifting of the EPL title. Mogg’s Bison career spans 166 games with 36 points.

During most of his time with the Bison, Mogg has been studying at Southampton Solent University and has won BIHUA national titles with the Southampton Spitfires. He also played for Great Britain in the Universiade in 2014, scoring 1 goal. He has also made 9 league and cup appearances for the Basingstoke Buffalo.

Welcome back everyone to “no brainer re-signings by Doug Sheppard”. I think even if Stuart was 100% honest with himself, the fanfare around his performance last season and his re-signing is not what we might have expected starting out 2015/16.

In some ways this is a really boring story; young man works hard, trains hard, listens, does what he’s told and succeeds. I’ve compressed Mogg’s story into almost Disney movie stereotype format but actually just how it went is something worth noting.

Mogg played defence a bit in juniors and for the university teams but with all due respect to the Spitfires (and I’m a former University of Southampton student so yay Spitfires) British university hockey isn’t EPL standard. Mogg didn’t warm up into his role has a full time EPL defenceman, he hit the ground running and was one of the team’s best performers right out of the gate winning a fair few of the early man of the match awards.

Being a defenceman is for the most part is a hard gig; your skating, your positioning, your hockey sense all need to be really high because you and your defence partner are there to stop the Jens Erikssons and Aaron Nells of the world scoring goals. Mogg slotted into the rotation with ease, made mistakes but few of them and learned from the ones that he did make.

Mogg has had that one big season so the goal for him has to be maintaining that this year. It’s not fair to compare him to Kurt Reynolds but the veteran blue liner is a good model for Mogg to follow because that consistency that Reynolds has season in, season out is what Stuart needs to develop. He has shown that he can hang at EPL level, he has shown that he can excel at EPL level but he now needs to be able to maintain that for year after year with a view to maybe even considering pushing onward and upward. As with any player that plays well for the Bison, we naturally want him to stay forever and ever, amen but if he continues a steady upwards trajectory and gets the chance at the EIHL then Mogg should 100% definitely give it a go.

So with a grand total of 2 defencemen and a goalie signed, the Bison can at least put out a team now and in an EPL context it’s a very good start to the back line. A netminder who is more than capable and 2 all-star defencemen is not the worst start to a summer’s recruiting for Doug Sheppard. How much Reynolds and Mogg play together remains to be seen but I don’t think many EPL fans would argue against it if they had that as a 1st or 2nd pairing.

Welcome back, Moggy. We’re all about repeat performances.

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