Building the Herd – Hallam WilsonPosted: 13/07/2017
#?? Hallam Wilson
Born: Winchester, Hampshire
Announced as signed: Basingstoke Gazette, 13th July
The Bison fans were treated to a two for one deal on young talent with this Thursday’s announcement. We start by looking at the player who spent last season in NIHL 1 South in Hallam Wilson who returns to the club on a two way deal with the Basingstoke Buffalo.
Bar a very brief stint at Bracknell, 19 year old Wilson played the rest of his junior hockey in Basingstoke with the Junior Bison. More of a goalscorer than a set up player, Wilson first played u16s hockey in 2011/12 when he scored 4 goals and an assist in 15 games as the u16s were relegated. The following season in u16s division two, Wilson played 17 games and scored an astronomical 67 goals and 99 points. He also made his under 18s debut scoring 6 goals and 12 points in 17 games.
Hallam made his senior debut in 2014 as he split his time between the Bison under 18s and the Buffalo. Wilson was made captain of the under 18 Bison and scored an impressive 33 points in 15 games. For the Buffalo, Wilson scored 2 goals and 8 assists in his first forays into adult hockey in NIHL 2 South.
Wilson continued the split between junior and senior hockey the next season as he started to make more of a mark on senior hockey. 10 games for the under 18s yielded 15 goals and 26 points and 13 games for the Buffalo saw Wilson add 11 goals and 20 points.
When the start of last season rolled around, Wilson had a choice. He could continue into the new under 20s league with the Bison or he could try his chances full time with the Buffalo or try something else. Whilst Wilson did appear in 2 games for the under 20s, the Winchester born forward spread his wings and headed into NIHL 1 for the first time with the Oxford City Stars. Wilson appeared in 25 games in yellow and blue scoring 9 goals and totalling 15 points, making him joint 9th in team scoring for the Stars as they finished 4th in the league before a disappointing playoff exit.
With the Stars dropping into NIHL2 in the reshuffle, Wilson chose to return to Basingstoke.
I get a feeling that today’s and tomorrow’s piece will have a slightly similar feel to them but of the two players signed today, they’re sort of at opposite ends of a very small spectrum. For players at the end of their junior career where they’ve mostly been playing in juniors, the demise of the EPL has come at an opportune time because the pathway has become much more direct. For younger players who were on the cusp of breaking into the EPL, its demise muddies the water somewhat as the new structure needs to even itself out in terms of its standard. This later option is where we find Hallam Wilson.
Wilson was at a point where if he wanted to press on, he needed to leave Basingstoke. The gap between the Buffalo in NIHL 2 South and the Bison in the EPL was a big one. For someone wanting to reach the next stage, there was that platform of NIHL 1 in the middle and Oxford offered the opportunity. Wilson was at the Stars at an opportune time as the organisation has become much more professionally run. Simon Anderson, the then coach, was one for giving opportunities and ice time to the younger players and for a first season at that level, 15 points in 25 games from an 18 year old is a pretty good return.
Hallam Wilson was always one of those names that was mentioned to me at games as a youngster to keep an eye on and it seems that we’re hopefully going to get a chance to have a really good look at him. Secondary scoring is something that this site has always made a point of emphasising and when used, if Wilson can get himself on the scoresheet then it potentially swings the balance between more of his games being in division 2 or being in division 1. For the time being, he’ll need to take whatever opportunity he’s given.
Welcome back, Hallam. We’ll be keeping an eye out.