With the ECHL trade deadline approaching on March 7th and the loss this week of three Bulls players, rookie forward Alex Tuckerman and defenceman Martin Lee to Utah, and power forward Rylan Galiardi to Idaho, it seemed an opportune moment to reflect on the player roster. Only twelve players remain of those that opened the season on October 12th in San Francisco, three defencemen, two goalies and seven forwards. Of those that remain, just two forwards Dean Ouellet and Kris Belan have appeared in all 53 games played thus far this season. These twelve players might be the core moving into the playoff season. To start, here is a snapshot of the original Bulls Defensive lineup that are still current.
Scott Langdon made an immediate impact from the moment he stepped on the ice amassing 14 penalty minutes during the exhibition game against Stockton. He has been a consistent presence on the blueline and has emerged as the team’s captain after the departure of Justin Bowers. He leads the team in +/- at 11 and runs near the top of the list in penalty minutes at 107. Langdon takes the big hits and delivers them with flair, his style, a nod to Scott Stevens, evident in his board rattling checks. His playoff experience with the Reading Royals during the 2009-10 season will aid the team as the Bulls push for their first playoff run.
Dylan King is a player who does not immediately stand out until he is missing from the lineup. Granted, he has only missed two games. It is his quiet consistency blocking shots, his grinder mentality in the corners and his shots from the point that are strengths in the defensive zone. He has accumulated 72 penalty minutes over the season, 15 of which came during the Februay 16th game against Stockton when his entire line was ejected from the game during a third period defensive zone brawl. He has experience at the AHL level with the Lake Erie Monsters and played with the Allen Americans in their CHL playoff push during the 2011-12 season.
Mikael Tam began the season with the Bulls and then spent the majority of it with the Worcester Sharks. He has incredible hockey sense, can go blue line to blue line and grinds it out in the corners. Despite his physicality, he manages to keep out of the penalty box totaling only 16 penalty minutes in his 19 games played with the Bulls. His tenure in the AHL has given him speed and ease in getting the puck out of his zone, a trait that will aid the team as the pressure mounts during the playoff push.