THE Bespoke Guardians Swindon Wildcats have re-signed forward Balint Pakozdi for the 2021-22 NIHL season.

The 22-year-old British-trained forward will be entering his second season with Swindon after arriving from the New Hampshire Monarchs in the summer of 2020.

Having come through the Okanagan Hockey Academy under the guidance of head coach Ryan Aldridge, Balint moved to Sweden to ice for Visby/Roma in the J20 Division One where he scored 40 points in 25 games, before then moving onto New Hampshire in the United States Premier Hockey League.

Pakozdi spoke last summer of his excitement for coming back to Swindon, and the young forward excelled in the NIHL Spring Cup scoring 14 points – seven goals, seven assists – in just 12 games.

That stretch of performances helped to catch the eyes of the coaches in the EIHL for the Elite Series. Pakozdi was then called up to the Sheffield Steelers and was working with Head Coach Aaron Fox.

During the Elite series, the 22-year-old iced in nine games, scoring two assists and was a plus-three in the tournament.

Speaking to club media after confirming his latest re-signing, head coach Aaron Nell was thrilled to have secured the services of his number three for another 12 months.

Nell said: “I couldn’t be happier to have Bali back in Swindon for another year. The impact he had in just a few weeks during the Spring Cup was incredible.

“He put up over a point a game and had a real impact in our lineup. He was also joint top of our goal scorers with 7 goals and was a vital part of our offense.”

Pakozdi joins a group of five Wildcats players already signed up for the new season - Sam Bullas, Renny Marr, Chris Jones, Tomasz Malasinski, and Stevie Whitfield will be teammates next season. Nell admitted he is looking forward to seeing how his team jells together.

On Pakodzi, Nell said: “I was delighted when he got his chance in the EIHL with the Steelers and that spell will only help him grow as a player.

“And while Cats fans got a glimpse of watching him, I’m sure they’ll love him even more when they actually get to watch him in person.

“He’s got a great personality and I cannot wait to work with him again this season.”