Building the Herd – Jakub Barton

#?? Jakub Barton

Position: Defence

Born: Litoměřice, Ústí nad Labem, Česko

Announced as signed: Bison website, 5th September

Jakub Barton has swapped his homeland for Basingstoke Image courtesy of http://olomoucky.denik.cz

Jakub Barton has swapped his homeland for Basingstoke
Image courtesy of http://olomoucky.denik.cz

After a decent weekend of pre-season, Bison head coach Doug Sheppard added to the good news with the announcement of the club’s newest import defenceman in the shape of Jakub Barton.

Barton, 35, comes to the Bison from SK Horacka Slavia Trebic where he played last season alongside new Bison forward, Petr Polodna.

Barton played his youth hockey in his hometown before heading to Pardubice’s under 20s team in 1999. After a couple of years of youth hockey he eventually made his debut in the Czech Extraliga with Padubice in the 2001/02 season before being loaned out to Sumperk to help them in the playoffs.

Barton’s career then followed something of the usual Czech or Slovak career as he was loaned out to various teams in the second tier by whoever held his rights in the Extraliga. Between 2002 and 2005, Barton played for 9 different teams. Many people look at such things and think “oh boy Fojtik 2.0” but this really is the norm. He eventually settled with Olomouc with whom he would play the best part of 11 seasons and 420 games including captaining them to promotion to the Extraliga in 2014. During that time he was also loaned out up to Extraliga sides Vitkovice and Znojemsti Orli during his stay, seeing time in the Extraliga playoffs.

After Olomouc made the Extraliga, Barton found himself loaned back to the second tier and to Trebic starting in 2014. Since that time he made 83 appearances with Slavia scoring 10 goals and 37 points.

Whenever we sign a new import I generally head to Youtube to try and find some video footage of the new player. Putting Jakub Barton in to the search got a video of him being interview and a video of him being called for diving whilst being hooked so yeah…not much to look at.

The stats do tell a story of the last few years which is a player with a decent +/- who also puts up a few points here and there. So what I’m trying to tell you is that we’ve signed someone almost but not quite entirely unlike Miroslav Vantroba.

Then again this makes total sense. We’ve all gone on and on about the Bison having the best defence in the league last year but with Vantroba gone, what was the team missing?Yes, at 35 Barton’s not exactly a spring chicken but that experienced player of quality on the back end is what the team needed. It’s another option on the point of the powerplay apart from Long, Balmer and Mogg and another body on the penalty kill. It also means that defensive corps that was already looking pretty decent is back up to 6 and now has this experienced player who has someone to help him fit in to the team and get rocking and rolling quickly.

In some ways I should have left this preview till after Wednesday and the Wildcats game and I might add to this piece after that but where the fun in that?

We need to give Barton a chance to bed in but he doesn’t have much time to do so. He’s joining a team with a set standard that they are going to maintain. I don’t envy a man having to step into this roster and fill the shoes of a popular player like Vantroba but you look at the career that he’s had you can’t help but think that he should be able to handle this.

Welcome to Basingstoke, Jakub. Whilst I couldn’t find much of you on Youtube, I don’t recommend searching for a bloke called Joey with the same surname as you.

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