Building the Herd – Dan DaviesPosted: 04/06/2016
#?? Daniel Davies
Born: London, England
Announced as signed: Bison season ticket night, 2nd June
After the pleasant news of the return of Stuart Mogg, Doug Sheppard treated the crowd in attendance to the news of a new face to the Herd as he welcomed Dan Davies to the Herd from Telford Tigers.
Davies, who will turn 27 in July (and shares a birthday with this writer, Mick Jagger and Sandra Bullock) leaves Telford after 2 and a half years in Shropshire during which he was part of the Tigers side that rose to prominence, winning the league and cup in 2015.
Davies started his junior hockey in the Haringey system with the fantastically named Whippets under 16 side before moving to Slough in 2003.
Davies played a couple of years in the Slough under 16s team and split 2004/05 between the u16 Spitfires and u19 Comets but then took a break from hockey, or at least that’s what we have on any stats sites for Davies as there’s a 3 season gap where no numbers exist.
Davies resurfaced in 2008/09 in Bracknell as he split time between the Bees and the Hornets scoring an impressive 50 points in 26 games at ENL level as well as 8 points for the Bees.
Davies returned to Slough for 2009/10 and began a really profitable 4 and a half year association with the Jets making 240 appearances during that span, scoring 241 points. During that time the Jets won two playoff titles in 2010 and 2012 and the 2011 EPL Cup and included a season and a bit as an alternate captain.
However that final EPL season for the Slough Jets in 2013/14 saw many players leave early. It was during this period that Ciaran Long and Michael Wales made their way to Basingstoke whereas Davies and Dan Scott made their way north to the Tigers, recently rejuvenated at that point by Red Hockey’s investment.
Davies, by this time already recognised as a top level EPL Brit helped guide Telford to a respectable 6th place in that half season with 20 points in 28 games before the 2014/15 season of dominance from the Tigers where Davies finishes with 36 points in 48 games as he collected his first league winners medal and his second for winning the cup.
Davies had some injury issues in 2015/16 but still registered a decent 27 points in 37 games in spite of a somewhat unusual season in Telford as the title defence faltered.
Davies sits on 378 EPL games with 332 points so should, bar injury, hit the 400 games mark just before Christmas.
When you lose one of the premier point scoring Brits in the league to a change of career and lifestyle, how does Sheppard answer? By signing 2 really good point scoring Brits. We’ll get into Antonov more tomorrow and he certainly got a great reaction at Season Ticket Night but Davies is the sort of depth signing that will be crucial in the Bison’s title defence.
Davies is another player, much like friend and former team mate Aaron Connolly that offers the Bison options. As we’ve discussed already in this off season, some players are role players and the Bison have signed a couple up already from last season. You have your Tomas Karpovs and Alan Lacks who have their roles and will never be asked to really stretch too far outside of their remit (or at least I won’t argue if Lack wants to suddenly start skating round entire teams and score but no pressure, Alan) but guys who are flexible are needed too in the same sense so they can be slotted in anywhere. Connolly is one, Mogg is another, guys who can do a job to a standard wherever they get put. Davies can score points but can also be relied on for the gritty work if needed as well as play powerplay and penalty kill. Davies is more an assists than goals guy but that’s not a problem given the other signing announced on Thursday night. Whilst last season wasn’t the best example of it, with 20 and 17 goal seasons under his belt when he needs to, Davies can find the net so we don’t need to be too concerned at this point.
Initial thoughts is that (and this is dependant on who else is signed) that we see Connolly and Davies together to start the year possibly with Jarolin but I remain to be convinced on that feeling right at this moment. I sat down with the list of who we have signed and threw a few ideas about and whilst I expect to see Connolly and Davies together for stretches, who they play with on a line escapes me at the moment. Check back with me later on that one.
Whatever happens on that front, the Bison certainly profiteer from the changes happening at Telford by acquiring a solid, just under point per game Brit who can play across the lines. I’ll take that.
Welcome aboard, Dan; score a few goals then we’ll see if you get extended the courtesy of being allowed to have “bar dizzle” used like Aaron is.