Fife Flyers replenish Brit pack with signing of Swindon Wildcats defenceman Sam Jones

Sam Jones has joined Fife Flyers from Swindon Wildcats. Pic: Swindon WildcatsSam Jones has joined Fife Flyers from Swindon Wildcats. Pic: Swindon Wildcats
Sam Jones has joined Fife Flyers from Swindon Wildcats. Pic: Swindon Wildcats
Fife Flyers have moved to fill the void left by Craig Moore by signing an up and coming British prospect from the National League.

Sam Jones will join the Kirkcaldy club from Swindon Wildcats, having previously played junior hockey in Canada with Summerland Stream, Penticton Vees and Cowichan Valley Capitals.

The 21-year-old from Birmingham has dual British/Canadian nationality and replaces Moore, who left Fife for conference rivals Glasgow Clan last month.

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Jones, a big 6ft 2in, 190lbs defenceman, started his junior career with Okanagan Hockey Academy in 2010 and remained with them for five seasons.

He.also featured for MK Lightning in the now defunct English Premier League in the 2016-17 season.

Flyers assistant coach and director of player development Jeff Hutchins believes the youngster is ready for the step up to Elite League level.

“Sam is a good young talent who has had recent exposure to North American Hockey," he said.

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

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"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 fairly quickly.”

Jones himself is looking forward to the prospect of playing at a higher level.

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“I am extremely excited for the opportunity to be moving to Kirkcaldy for the upcoming season," he explained.

"After the 2018/19 season I was eager for a new challenge in the Elite League, and after I spoke to Jeff, I instantly had a good feeling about Fife.

"Everyone I talked to spoke highly of the stability and professionalism of the Flyers organisation, which made the move to Kirkcaldy an attractive choice.

"I understand it is a big step up from the NIHL to the EIHL, and I will be working hard all summer to make sure I come in as prepared as possible, to do whatever I can to prove myself, and to help the team win.

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"I can’t wait to meet all the guys come August and play in front of the noisy Flyers fans."

Jones was the top scoring defenceman in the NIHL South last season with 15 goals and 15 assists in 38 appearances.

He also picked up 70 PIMs and his coach in Swindon, Aaron Nell, backed the youngster to become a success in Fife.

“I’m delighted for Sam on signing in the Elite League," he said.

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"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 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."