BRACKNELL Bees hot-shot Roman Malinik has agreed a new contract to stay with the club, but fellow forwards Ben Paytner and Ryan Watt have left, along with netminder Dean Skinns, writes Dave Wright.

"I enjoyed my first season in Bracknell and I’m looking forward to help bring success next season," said the 29-year-old Czech, who scored 23 goals in the NIHL and assisted in 30 others for a career-best 53-point total.

Head coach Doug Sheppard commented: “Roman is the type of player and person we had to return as we look to start building a winning team.

"With the Bees moving to the National League, there won’t be any nights off next season. Roman turns up every night with a high compete level.”

Sheppard will be making further signings and one will certainly be a goalie.

Skinns leaves after just one season, during which he made 39 league appearances after following Sheppard to Bracknell from arch-rivals Basingstoke Bison. At 34, he was one of the oldest players on their roster.

Watt, 29, who was also signed by Sheppard, scored only five goals in 27 League South One appearances following his move from Streatham, where he netted 15 in 28 games during the 2017-18 campaign.

But the Scot missed the end of last season when he received a 21-match ban following incidents, on and off the ice, at the end of their South Cup semi-final against Peterborough Phantoms on February 20. He was punished for fighting and physically engaging with a spectator, with the ban being extended due to his overall disciplinary record.

He has not yet completed his suspension, so would have missed the opening games of next season had he stayed with Bees.

Former Streatham and Basingstoke player Paynter was another forward who struggled to find the net, his 31 outings producing only three goals, the last of them in December.

With Watt and Paynter leaving and Scott Spearing retiring, Sheppard will also be looking for new forwards in the transfer market and the Canadian is certainly going to be busy during the summer.

A club statement said: "Skinns, Paynter and Watt will be taking on new challenges next season away from the Hive. The coaching staff and club management would like to put on record their thanks to the players for their efforts at the Hive and their best wishes for future success."