SWINDON Wildcats have secured the signature of Polish international Tomasz Malasinski for the upcoming season.

Steve Nell and Ryan Aldridge have acted fast to fill the hole left by Jonas Höög, who the Advertiser revealed would not be returning for the new season yesterday, by bringing in the 27-year-old wing-man from Polska Liga Hokejowa side GKS Tychy.

Cats’ boss Aldridge has been aware of Malasinski since autumn last year when he was in Eastern Europe looking at Jan Kostal.

The Pole came close to signing mid-way through last-season but could not get a release from GKS and Aldridge is delighted to have finally got his man.

“I watched him last season when we signed Jan, so we’ve been looking at him since then. He can play both ways, and will be a big leader for the team,” Aldridge told the Advertiser.

“Jan’s one of the biggest ever signings, before Jonas signed here he probably wasn’t but he’s gone on to be one and Tomasz is right is up there with them.

“I think he’s going to be an all round hard player to who plays both ways, he’s a big, strong lad. He has played for the Polish national team for the last four or five years, he played in the World Championships this year and got four goals in five games.

“In that tournament he got similar points to the top players in the Great Britain team, like Colin Shields. I think he’s going to be similar to Jan, he may not be the most vocal but he’ll lead by the way he plays.

“It’s obviously a slightly tough situation for him to come into, but he hasn’t got to replace Höögy at all, he’s a different player. I think just moving on from Jonas is a big move, what he (Malasinski) brings is different from Jonas, but hopefully it works out for him.”