Burton 40: Ben de Wit
Some players are considered challenging, a way to test your skill level against someone of renown. For 20 consecutive BUSH sessions in 2009, Ben de Wit wasn't just challenging; he put the fear of God in his opponents.
Ben is perhaps the most complete player to come into the BUSH side of Burton Hockey since the heyday of Robert Rogers. Certainly, at 6'5" with the build of a top-level MMA fighter, he is the most intimidating physical specimen in Burton since Dustin Blair. No time in Ben's life is wasted; when not at school, he's at work; when not at work, he's playing sports; when not playing sports, he's putting himself through one of the more punishing workout regimes imaginable; when he's not doing that, he's sleeping.
This may all sound intense, but Ben is one of the most quiet, unassuming, easygoing, even shy, people you will ever meet. His reserved demeanour is quite at odds with his presence on the rink. He is in utter control at nearly all times. His slapshot may be the most feared weapon in the history of Burton Hockey. He's a defenceman by trade (he's already a 2.9 PPG player; could you imagine him concetrating on offence? Yeesh.), plowing though, pickpocketing, and dangling around everyone he plays against. Very few players can boast of leading eleven of their first twenty sessions in scoring. And no one comes close to having 120 shots on goal in a single session. He also introduced true defence into BUSH, especially the art of the shot block; something that had been around for some time in VRH but never on the east side. His nearly-400-point tally is easily a rookie record; it would be even higher were it not for his return to university (before he left, he made sure to stop by VRH and win his first session there, too). If it wasn't for the destructive performances of Pat Elischer in VRH, rookie of the year for 2009 wouldn't even be a discussion. And that's in a year of 37 rookies. As far as pure skill and performance, Ben would make the Burton 7, let alone the Burton 40; he's already one of the all-time elite. Even though he's only just finished his first season, Ben already resides 14th in all-time points. We look foward to many great feats in the future from Ben as one of the Burton 40.