Building the Herd – Dan Scott

#?? Dan Scott

Position: Defence

Born: Chatham, Kent

Announced as signed: Bison website 6/12/16

Dan Scott (right) has had many battles against the Bison but the recent issues at Telford mean that the defenceman has now joined the Herd. (c) 5 Hole Photography

Dan Scott (right) has had many battles against the Bison but the recent issues at Telford mean that the defenceman has now joined the Herd.
(c) 5 Hole Photography

In what BOTW has dubbed the Bison’s wacky week, the Bison have managed to secure a defenceman following the release of Jan Jarabek as Doug Sheppard has secured the services of long term target, Dan Scott.

The 24 year old Kent born defenceman becomes the second Telford player in a week to join the Herd after the Tigers’ recent financial issues. Having signed a new three year contract with Telford in April, the club’s recent financial issues threw everything and everyone into turmoil. Scott was announced by Telford as part of a group that had agreed to stay with the current league leaders but instead refused new terms and chose to sign for Basingstoke.

Like many a Kent born player before him, Scott is a product of the junior system at Invicta making his debut for the Dynamos in 2006/07 whilst still playing under 16s hockey.

After further development in the Dynamos system, Scott headed over to Lake Placid in New York State to study and play at Northwood School, a private school with a renowned junior hockey programme and counts former NHL goalie Mike Richter and former Bison forward Liam Chong amongst its alumni.

After finishing in the US Dan returned to Britain in 2010 with Telford, playing 51 games and scoring 5 points in his debut EPL season. He also guested 6 times for the Coventry Blaze.

That performance was enough to earn Scott a full time roster spot in the EIHL as he was signed up by the Hull Stingrays for one campaign in the British top flight where he scored 2 points before heading back to the EPL and joining Slough.

2012/13 was a decent enough year for Slough and for Scott but 2013/14 was not; the Jets’ financial issues caused a litany of players to be released and a bizarre situation for Scott where he was named team captain before leaving the Jets less than a month later to join the newly owned Tigers.

Scott was named an alternate captain in 2014 and remained so until he left the Shropshire side. Along with being part of the Tigers’ double winning side in 2015, Scott played 136 regular season games in this most recent stint, scoring 29 points in that time.

Scott also captained both the GB under 18s and under 20s, winning a bronze with the later in the Division 1A worlds in the 2010/11 season.

The first thing we’ll do is indulge the conspiracy theorists because, why not? I like a good laugh. However weird the timings might look, the Bison did not release Jan Jarabek to make way for Dan Scott. Whilst British hockey is good for a bit of cloak and dagger work, this is not one of those examples. The timing is entirely coincidental. Jarabek’s undisclosed indiscretion was not conjured up. Scott’s signing was not an excuse to get rid of him. Aside from the fact that the Bison’s form with such releases of players is well known why would the Bison, with the fewest goals against in the league, benefit from releasing an offensively minded imported defenceman for a British defenceman however good with a record points total of 13 in a season?

For anyone who has watched the EPL for the last few years, they will be able to back me up on this assertion; Dan Scott is a very good stay at home defenceman. He is not the biggest or the heaviest but he certainly does have size and isn’t afraid to use it.

What the Bison have done for the moment is seemingly trade secondary offence on the back end for increased defensive security. Dan Scott is much more in the Declan Balmer and Joe Baird mould of defenders than he is the Jan Jarabek or Miroslav Vantroba mode but the Herd now stand with two options in mind.

Option 1 is the Bison go straight back out and find another import defenceman with offensive upside and get a like for like replacement.

Option 2 is you run with this 5 man all British defence and go for an import forward which is what the Bison did back in 2012/13 when Tomas Fojtik was swapped for Jaroslav Cesky. It ultimately didn’t pan out as planned for the Herd as they finished the season without a trophy but the Herd arguably need more out of their offence than has been coming at times this season. With the defence already pretty solid and having added another solid piece, do the Bison hope for that extra secondary scoring solely from Joe Miller up front or add another piece?

The one player who may well step in as a stop gap is Joe Rand. The Canadian is still living and working in the country and could well be a short term option. Also a roster with Derek Roehl and Joe Rand in it will be a ton of fun.

Meanwhile on the back end, there will be Dan Scott; picking up minimal amounts of penalty minutes. The trick with a player like Dan is if you don’t notice him then things are going well. That’s the way we’ll want it. After years of trying and being very high on his talents and whilst in unusual circumstances, Doug Sheppard has finally gotten his man.

Welcome aboard, Dan.

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