Building the Herd – Ryan Sutton

#?? Ryan Sutton

Position: Forward

Born: Basingstoke, Hampshire

Announced as signed: Basingstoke Gazette, 1st June

Steaming back in; after time in Canada with the Tottenham Steam, Ryan Sutton is returning to Basingstoke.
(c) 5 Hole Photography

Alongside the return to Basingstoke of Elliott Dewey was someone who went a bit of a greater distance than Kent to improve his hockey career as Basingstoke born forward, Ryan Sutton was announced as signing on for 2017/18.

A former Bison junior, 22 year old Sutton has worked his way through the ranks of the junior club, through the NIHL to the senior Bison team.

Sutton started with the Bison under 16s in the 2008/09 season before progressing onto the under 18s in 2010/11.

The following season, alongside a productive 40 point season with the under 18s, Sutton made his debut in senior hockey. 5 points in 6 ENL2 games with the Buffalo were complimented with 5 appearances for the Bison in the EPL under Steve Moria.

It would take Sutton a bit of time to make it back into the Bison lineup with the majority of the next 3 years spent finishing off his junior career with the under 18s and starring for the Buffalo.

A couple of appearances in the 2014/15 challenge cup against NIHL sides and some impressive work ethic saw Sutton make it back onto the Bison roster proper in 2015 as he played a depth role during the side’s EPL title run, scoring 4 points and tallying 6 penalty minutes. This was combined with 26 points in 13 NIHL 2 South games for the Buffalo.

In 2016, Sutton decided to try his chances further afield and headed to Canada. Like many British players before him Sutton headed to the Greater Metro Hockey League, a pay to play junior league in Canada that boasts Stuart Mogg and Craig Peacock amongst its alumni. Sutton started with the Komoka Dragons but with the side folding just 12 games into the schedule he moved to the Tottenham Steam, the previous season’s champions. Sutton split his time between playing forward and defence but still scored an impressive 20 points in 24 games for the Steam before heading home.

Sutton has played 66 times for the Buffalo for 73 points and has 5 assists in a combined 48 games for the Bison.

When Ryan Sutton picked up his 2016 EPIHL winners medal, he was part of the supporting cast. I don’t think it’s unfair to say that; limited ice time, used sparingly, generally in a third or fourth line role and very few points speaks to that. However he must have gotten something right to be there in the first place. Doug Sheppard doesn’t keep people around who aren’t doing something right. If he didn’t think that Sutton wasn’t doing his job, he wouldn’t have kept him on the roster. His appearances in the line-up would have been more sporadic.

Sutton left as a depth forward and returns from Canada as a depth forward in this roster but it’s a depth forward role with the added experience of that year in Canada behind him. That year in Canada benefited Craig Peacock who was the league’s top scorer when he was there. We’ve seen the player that Stuart Mogg has turned in to as well. That’s not to throw tons of pressure onto Sutton but it bodes well and the player himself certainly thinks that he’s improved in his time in the GMHL and this bodes well.

At the moment, we’re somewhat at a loss as to how many lines that the Bison will run. Initial thoughts for Sutton will be to be a 3rd line winger with space to get some good penalty killing time but we need to see how the rest of the roster pans out. Crucially what we have is a player that has always wanted to be a Bison who has gone away, taken a chance to improve themselves and comes back wanting to be a Bison.

Welcome back, Ryan.

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