ELITE League outfit Fife Flyers have snapped up departing Swindon Wildcats defenceman Sam Jones for the upcoming season.

The 21-year-old starred for the Wildcats last season, described by many as one of the best defencemen in the NIHL One South division.

Destined for top-tier hockey, Jones has now linked up with Jeff Hutchins’ Flyers as they look to improve on their sixth-placed finish in last season’s league campaign.

Wildcats player-coach Aaron Nell said the opportunity for Jones to skate in British hockey’s top tier was too good to turn down.

He added: “I’m delighted for Sam (Jones) on signing in the Elite League, I remember talking at the start of last season about this being his goal for his first year back in the UK.

“Of course, we would have liked him back in Swindon next season. But, as a club, we pride ourselves on developing young British players. So, it’s great for Sam to be the next one to make that step.

“This is the right move for Sam, after Christmas he was certainly the best D-man and arguably the best player in the league and at his age. This is a great opportunity for him.

“He made a great impression on all the players and I know they are all happy for him in securing a place at the higher level.”

Flyers’ director of player development Hutchins echoed Nells words, adding: “Sam is a good young talent who has had recent exposure to North American Hockey.

“We are looking for him to add depth to our defensive core.

“He skates well, is physical and makes good decisions with the puck.

“He was arguably one of the best players in the NIHL last season.

“I’m sure it will be an adjustment stepping in to the EIHL, however, I’m confident he will adapt quickly.”