Brit forward Shaun Thompson has joined the EPL title defending Manchester Phoenix for the new ice hockey season which starts September 5 at arch rivals Sheffield.

Slough born Thompson, 27, signs for Phoenix after icing for the Bracknell Bees for the past three seasons, netting 59 points in 51 games for the Berkshire side last season.

He brings a wealth of experience with him to the Phoenix with over 200 Elite League games played with Nottingham Panthers, Hull Stingrays and Basingstoke Bison, whilst he has also iced in over 360 EPL games with Bees, Bison and his home town Slough Jets.

Thompson said on joining Phoenix: “I have heard great things about the Phoenix organisation and I just thought it was about time I played somewhere I will have a good chance of winning trophies.”

Player coach Tony Hand said: “Shaun will be a great asset to the team. He is a proven goal scorer and also has a physical edge to his play. He will fit in well with the squad for this year.”

Meanwhile Brit defenceman Joe Graham re-signs for Manchester after helping them to the league title last term.

The 24 year old has iced in over 300 EPL games for Phoenix, Guildford Flames and Peterborough Phantoms. Last season Graham netted 24 points in 54 games for the league champions.

Joe commented on re-signing: “It is great to be back for another season. I had a great time last year and winning the league was just brilliant. The organisation and the fans are great to play for and I am looking to win more trophies with Phoenix”

Coach Hand said: “Joe had a great second half of the season last year and worked hard every shift. I think he will be even better this time out as we look to defend our title.”

Arch rivals Sheffield Steeldogs have announced the dates for the annual pre season ‘War of the Roses’ games between the sides before the league season gets underway.

Phoenix will travel to Sheffield on Friday September 5th for the first leg of the series with the return match being played on Sunday September 7th in Altrincham.