Building the Herd – Dan Scott

#13 Dan Scott

Position: Defenceman

Born: Chatham, Kent

Announced as signed: Basingstoke Gazette 18th May

(c) 5 Hole Photography

After a couple of recent departures from the Bison, Doug Sheppard has set the tone with the announcement of three returnees for the Herd for their new venture into the NIHL. The first of those that we’ll talk about is the return of Dan Scott.

25 year old Scott joined the Herd from Telford Tigers after the tumultuous period for the Shropshire club due to financial issues. Scott had been part of the Tigers side that was tearing through the EPIHL at the time, scoring 3 goals and 6 assists for 9 points in 27 games before the Kent born defenceman decided that a change of scenery was required. A long term target of Doug Sheppard, Scott was convinced to move back to the south where he replaced Jan Jarabek who was released due to a disciplinary issue. Scott became immediately popular with the fans in Basingstoke for his no nonsense, physical style of stay at home defensive play. Despite his number of games being limited by a concussion, Scott managed to tally 1 goal and 1 assist in 19 games as well as picking up 2 goals and 1 assist in 7 playoff games with the Herd.

A product of the Invicta junior system, Scott made his senior hockey debut with the Dynamos during 2006/07 tallying 3 assists in the process. In 2008, Scott moved to Northwood School in Lake Placid, New York in the USA for two years to further his hockey playing skills, during which time he made his debut with the GB under 18s and was named captain for their world championships bid in 2010.

After finishing his time in North America, Dan returned to Britain where he signed for Telford and made an immediate impact on the Tigers’ defence. His talents also saw him guest for Coventry in the Elite League during 2010/11 which saw Scott make his GB under 20s debut and led to him signing a contract with Hull Stingrays for 2011/12. His time in the East Riding was productive with 1 goal, 1 assist and 2 points with 16 penalty minutes.

After his time in Hull came to an end, Dan headed back to the south and to Slough where he would stay for the next year and a half. Under Slava Koulikov, Slough had a good 2012/13 and Dan’s 7 points that season were, at the time, a career best in senior hockey for him. 2013/14 didn’t go as well for the Jets as money issues saw a number of players leave. Scott was part of the number that were lured north to Telford due to an improved contract offer in December 2013.

We all kind of know what happened to Telford; the dominant 2014/15 campaign saw Scott pick up league and cup winners medals and whilst 2015/16 didn’t go as well for Telford, they seemed to be on the road to running the table again but the well-publicised issues in Shropshire led us to where we are today.

Dan Scott had the somewhat ignoble honour of being the first person that the EPIHL’s new policy on headshots failed. I actually remember hearing about the decision not to punish Ugnius Cizas for what was a ridiculous elbow to the head because I was walking around Copenhagen Zoo and my wife wondered why I had stopped by a monkey enclosure and was saying “they have to be taking the mick” over and over again. To not punish the Pirates forward essentially implied that Scott instigated the contact by headbutting his opponent’s elbow. Then again, not long after that the EPIHL failed so I suppose the joke was that we should have seen that coming.

Above we mentioned that Doug Sheppard had Dan Scott as a long term target. I suppose most coaches in the league would not have sniffed at signing the defenceman and Bison fans immediately picked up on why Dan is such a valuable commodity as a defender.

He’s arguably something of a cut out player. If you were making a list of what you want your ideal stay at home defenceman to be then most of Scott’s traits will be on that list; positionally sound, good hands, takes the body well, good vision for the pass to start the transition up the ice. If you’re signing a guy to sure up the back end then this is what you want.

To Scott’s credit he came to Basingstoke last year knowing a lot of the team already and he settled in well. He got the Bison’s systems down quickly and made a defence that was already the best in the league better. During the voting for the BOTW player of the year, many mentioned that had Dan been there for a season then they may have got this vote.

It’s hard to add more than we did given we only wrote a piece for Dan about 6 months ago but the reaction that he got when he was in and out of the line-up shows that added bit of quality that fell into the Bison’s lap. It happened with Ciaran Long and Michael Wales. It appears to have happened again. With a league that is going to be a real mix of players and abilities, Doug Sheppard has shown that he’s not messing about by securing what will be a top level defenceman in the Wilkinson Conference, if not the whole of NIHL 1 South.

Welcome back, Dan.

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