Swindon Wildcats are delighted to confirm the first new face for their 2020-21 National Ice Hockey League (NIHL) roster. Bálint Pákozdi joins from the New Hampshire Jr Monarchs in the USPHL Premier league in North America.
Bálint, a graduate from Okanagan Hockey Academy (OHA) in 2017, spent two seasons in North America where he posted 136 points (38 goals and 98 assists) in 98 games. Prior to his two-year stint in the USA, Balint spent a year in Sweden where he iced for the Visby/Roma J20 side.
Bálint, who despite being Hungarian will qualify as a British trained player, first arrived at OHA in 2013. He iced for both the U16 and U18 OHA team and is no stranger to Swindon after spending 5 years with the Academy, working with both Ryan Aldridge and Pete Russell.
Internationally he has also had success competing for Hungary at U18 and U19 level.
After a summer of negotiations, Head Coach Aaron Nell was delighted to have finally secured the services of Bálint for the new season.
‘I’m absolutely over the moon to bring Bálint to Swindon. He’s a player we’ve spoken to before, I believe he’s a big offensive talent and I’m thrilled he’s agreed to be a Wildcat next season.”
“He will settle in nicely as he knows some of the players on the team and has already spent 4 years in Swindon, albeit not with the Wildcats. He’s a pass-first player and I think he’ll be a surprise player in the league this year.”
“We started negotiations back in March and I’m really pleased Bálint has decided to join us.”
After an unprecedented summer, Aaron is pleased with how the roster is shaping up so far.
“We’ve obviously had some changes in the team with Luc and Eddie moving on, but I think having Toms coming back and now Bálint will be huge for us. They are both very promising young forwards and will both have a big role to play this year.”
“Toms in particular will have a much bigger role than he’s had in previous years and at one point this summer I didn’t expect him to be returning. I can’t say how massive it is to have him in the line-up again.”
“I think we’ll be a younger team next year which will be exciting to watch and hopefully we can all get back on the ice sooner rather than later.”
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