BRACKNELL Bees have announced Czech forward Roman Malinik as their first import signing for the coming season.

The 28-year-old is one of the fastest movers in the NIHL and has previously represented Manchester Phoenix and Basingstoke Bison.

Born in Ostrava, Malinik learned his junior hockey with HC Vitkovice and in 2005/06 gained international experience representing the Czech Republic with 2+2 in six games for the Czech U16s.

His following season saw an impressive 49 points come across U18s and U20s as well as his three first senior appearances for HC Vitkovice and 12 games for Czech Republic U17s during which he scored 10 times together with three assists.

In 2007/08 he played in the Québec Major Junior Hockey League and in two seasons he was capped 121 times for Baie-Comeau Drakkar, earning a call-up to the Czech Republic U20s in his second season.

Malinik returned to the Czech Republic for 2009/10 playing U20s hockey for his hometown club as well as senior turn outs for HC Dukla Jihlava and HC Frydek-Mistek.

With his junior years behind him, Malinik forged a senior career with HC Dukla Jihlava before going on to wear the “C” in 2014/15 for HC Havlickuv Brod.

After one more year in his native land he arrived in the UK and made his debut for Phoenix, putting up more than a point per game in the EPL before the club pulled out the league mid season and he ended 2016/17 in Poland playing for Polonia Bytom.

He started last season with them before new Bees head coach Doug Sheppard moved to bring him in at Basingstoke and his 36 league points from 26 games were instrumental in the Bison winning the league title.

Malinik also returned 11 points from the Southern Play-offs seeing Bison lift that trophy as well, while in the final he added two assists as the Bison downed Telford Tigers.

Sheppard said: “Roman is going to be the perfect fit in Bracknell.

“He has a relentless work ethic and plays an unselfish game, always putting the team first. He poses a number of problems for the opposition with his physique – he is extremely strong on the puck and very difficult to handle down low.”

Malink added: “I really enjoyed being back in the UK last season and I’m looking forward to linking up with Doug again this season. Hopefully I can help the Bees bring trophies home to the Hive.”

During a busy week, Bracknell also announced George Hoang, Stuart Mogg and Ben Paynter will play for them next term.