Building the Herd – Paul PettsPosted: 14/07/2017
#?? Paul Petts
Born: Gosport, Hampshire
Announced as signed: Basingstoke Gazette, 14th July
Along with the return to Basingstoke of Hallam Wilson, Basingstoke coach Doug Sheppard announced a second player as joining on a combined Bison/Buffalo two way contract in the form of Paul Petts.
20 year old Petts, another product of the Junior Bison played both u16s and u18s in 2011/12 and had a slow start as he scored 2 points in 18 games for the under 16s in their relegation season with 3 points in 2 games for the under 18s.
The following season with the u16s in the 2nd division, Petts scored 26 goals and 63 points in 18 games and continued to impress at under 18 level as he followed up a 6 point season with 15 points in 12 games in 2013/14.
2014/15 saw Petts continue his impressive performances in junior hockey as he went over 2 points a game in under 18s with 34 points in 16 games as well as appearing in 11 games in the NIHL 2 South with the Buffalo, scoring 3 assists.
The last couple of seasons have seen Petts be a very busy player. In 2015/16 as well as playing under 20s in Basingstoke and NIHL 2 for the Buffalo, Petts made his NIHL 1 South debut for his hometown Solent Devils, appearing in 8 games and scoring 1 goal.
Last season Petts continued his three way split between the Devils, Buffalo and captaining the Bison under 20s, Petts was handed his EPL debut by Doug Sheppard on 22nd January as he and Kyle Goddard were added to the roster for the Herd’s 5-0 win over Bracknell.
Petts’ career totals sees him with 58 points in 44 games at under 18 level, 56 points in 26 games at under 20 level, 26 points in 34 games with the Buffalo and 2 points in 18 games with the Devils in NIHL 1.
Where I’d had the opportunity to at least see a bit more of Hallam Wilson, I’d heard the name Paul Petts but couldn’t really offer much of an opinion on his play. I can give an idea as to what the plan might be for him but what sort of a player is Paul Petts? I turned to Buffalo head coach and head coach of the Bison Junior system, Simon Beere to offer some insight.
“Paul has developed in the season to one of the best two way players for his age nationally and this is proven by finishing top points scorer in the 20s league by some distance. He started at Basingstoke from u12s from Solent and has shown great dedication to progressing through our junior system. Originally a winger but he has shown himself to be a very accomplished centre with great awareness in all zones and situations. I strongly believe he’s one of the best blue line to blue line forwards we’ve produced so I’m hoping it can show in the future in a Bison jersey”
As for how Petts is used when he gets into the lineup, it’s a case of use whatever ice time he gets 4th line minutes with the Bison are always hard to come by and they need to be used to maximum effect. Whilst he has a good scorer’s touch, do not expect massive points from Petts when he’s used on five on five situations. However do not write him off with it. An injury to a role player here or a trademark Doug Sheppard shuffling of the lines there and Petts could find himself getting a couple of extra minutes. Simon Beere has pointed out that Petts is a hard worker and that’s the key trait that Doug Sheppard looks for in any of his players. In fact, a hard working, two way player with a scoring edge sounds somewhat familiar to anyone who remembers how Sheppard played.
I don’t think we’re going to see everything that Petts has in his locker this season unless someone gets hurt for a sustained period so we need to take every opportunity to really take a look at him when we do. His coaches think a lot of him and think he can do the business. He’s been given the opportunity. All Paul Petts needs to do now is take it.
Welcome to the top table, Paul.