Building the Herd – Lewis Turner

#?? Lewis Turner

Position: Defence

Born: Woking, Surrey, England

Announced as signed: Basingstoke Gazette, 14th July

Lewis Turner (#5 in black) crosses the border and joins the Bison for 2016/17. (c) 5 Hole Photography

Lewis Turner (#5 in black) crosses the border and joins the Bison for 2016/17.
(c) 5 Hole Photography

With the Bison roster already nearing completion, Doug Sheppard has moved to strengthen his defensive unit with the addition of Lewis Turner from the Bracknell Bees.

23 year old Turner started his hockey career in the Guildford junior system starting with the u16 Firestars in 2007 and carrying on through to the well-respected under 18 Phoenix side.

Turner started the 2009/10 season in Guildford but swapped Surrey for Berkshire as he moved across to Bracknell. Lewis made his senior debut in the old ENL as he split time between the Hornets and the u18 Drones. He carried on between u18 and ENL hockey the next season, scoring an impressive 15 points in 16 games for the Drones.

When his time in junior hockey came to an end to start 2011/12, Turner continued to split his time but that campaign it was between ENL and EPL as he was called into the Bracknell senior side for the first time. Lewis appeared in 31 EPL games and 23 ENL games in yellow and black as his first full campaign as a senior saw him establish himself as an EPL player.

2011/12 was Turner’s last season in the ENL as he stepped up full time to the Bees for 2012/13 and enjoyed an impressive campaign. Whilst Bracknell didn’t soar very high, Turner’s stock rose. He appeared in 50 games and earned a call up to the GB under 20s side, appearing in all 5 games for the national side.

After another impressive campaign with Bracknell in 2013/14 where Turner made 52 appearances, he returned to Bracknell with the added bonus of being on a two way contract with Cardiff Devils, making 2 appearances for the South Wales side.

Turner has made 222 appearances for the Bees across the last 5 seasons, scoring 19 points and tallying 228 penalty minutes.

So I think it’s safe to say that the defence is finished and this is a really handy addition to round out the blueline corps. Whilst nobody who played for Bracknell is going to remember last season with a great amount of fondness, it wasn’t for the want of some decent performances by individuals and both recent Bison signees are in that category.

Turner is a really solid, stay at home defenceman with a physical edge. Have you noticed much of him during Bison games against the Bees? No? Then that probably means he’s been doing his job for the most part. He’s one of those defencemen. What I really liked from the article in today’s Gazette was Lewis’ quote where he said “I enjoy the physical side of the game and stopping players scoring.” Yes, excellent, that’s what you want from a physical defenceman. The last thing any team needs is to sign a guy to be that stay at home guy but then find they like to wander off and be bad positionally. That’s not saying we don’t want defencemen jumping into the play if the chance appears but Turner’s there to shut things down.

If nothing else, given the style that the Bison play, he should fit right in to things. We’re all used to that Bison game plan where they get the lead then shut things down so having 6 guys involved rather than 5 not only helps when injuries hit but makes things really solid to start with.

Where does Turner fit in to the line up? I have him forming a traditional shut down pairing with Joe Baird. Yes it’s 2 right handed shot players together but the Bison only have two left shot defencemen in Reynolds (who I have staying partnering Mogg) and Balmer (who I have partnering Vantroba) but Turner and Baird together is a good mix of youth and experience and some good old fashioned grit. Some will argue that they might be susceptible to taking penalties but we need to keep the jokes about the Bison being goons alive somehow. (15/7/16 – well this is daft of me. Elite Prospects has Reynolds as a leftie. He’s actually a right handed shot. Sorry Kurt. What does it change? Not much really I don’t think. My prediction still stands though we know the pairings will be rotated.

Welcome to Basingstoke, Lewis.

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