THE Bespoke Guardians Swindon Wildcats have signed Basingstoke Bison defenceman Ollie Stone for the 2022-23 campaign.

Stone is the first new face on the Wildcats' roster following a plethora of re-signings in previous weeks.

The 23-year-old grew up in Wiltshire and began his hockey career in the Swindon Ice Hockey Academy set-up. He was then one of the first players to sign up for the Okanagan Hockey Academy for their first season in 2012.

Stone made his senior Swindon debut in 2015 before becoming a full-time Wildcat the following season, where he spent two years with the team and contributed to the double cup success in the 2017-18 season.

The defenceman has been capped at international level with both the Team GB Under-18s and U-20 rosters, where he iced in two tournaments at each age level.

After agreeing terms with the 23-year-old, head coach Aaron Nell said: "I’m pleased to be bringing Ollie back to Swindon.

"With Declan (Balmer) and Lidds (Neil Liddiard) moving on we had to bring in some D, and I’m really happy to have him back home.

"In his time away, I think he’s grown as a player and I think we’ll see the benefits of that this season.

"He’d been in Swindon all his life and I know he’s excited to be coming back home to play next season.

Nell continued: "He's a smooth-skating defenceman, with a big future ahead of him. I’m sure the fans will be excited to see him back on the Link Centre ice from September."

Meanwhile, Stone told the Wildcats' media team how much it means to sign with his home-town club.

He said: "I’m very happy and excited to be back in Swindon, it really feels like I’m coming home!

"I definitely think my game has changed since I was last here and I feel I’ve been used in a lot of situations which has helped develop my game.

"I’m sure I speak on behalf of the boys that we aim to be bringing silverware back to the Link this season.

"I can’t wait to be back playing in font of some familiar faces and I’m looking forward to seeing you all again in September. I know how loud the rink can be so rest your voices and bring the noise for game-day!"