THE Bespoke Guardians Swindon Wildcats have announced Sam Smith has agreed a deal following a successful spell in the Streaming Series and Spring Cup.

The 19-year-old defenceman joined the club through the Covid-impacted season and iced in all games in the Spring Cup, impressing head coach Aaron Nell enough to award him a contract for the new season.

Having started his career coming through the junior ranks in Cardiff, Smith made his senior debut in the 2017-18 season where he iced for the Cardiff Fire in the NIHLS1.

The following season, Smith earned a move to the Basingstoke Bison. The 19-year-old put up three points in 34 games which was enough for him to sign on for a second season with the Bison.

In the 19-20 season, the fresh-faced defenceman played in 42 games for Ashley Tait’s side before moving to Swindon for the truncated 20-21 campaign.

The Wildcats head coach was pleased to have some young blood in his group for the new season.

Nell said: “Sam came in during the two series we had last year and really impressed me. He’s a young defenceman but someone with a lot of potential. He settled into the team really well and had some very strong performances on the ice.

“With the defence we have signed there is plenty of people he can learn from and I think we will see Sam continue to develop and learn over the course of the season, and hopefully continue to be a really solid D man for us on the back end.

“I think he compliments the other five we have signed and I think the six of them will really help each other over the course of the 21/22 season.”

Similarly, Smith was delighted to be putting pen to paper in Swindon. He said: “After getting to know Aaron and the boys over the last few months, it made the decision to sign in Swindon really easy.

“It’s a great place to play and I know from my time in Basingstoke that Swindon was always a tough rink to play in.

“I can’t wait for the rink to be full again and I know that it’ll be better having the Cats fans on my side rather than against me!

“It was a great experience for me playing here over the last two series, it means I’m coming in knowing the guys and the set-up which I think will make it a lot easier when we get underway in September.

“I knew a few of the guys but I’ll be coming in knowing what is expected. It’s been a very long year and a half and I just can’t wait to get going again in September.”