The Bristol Honda Pitbulls are happy to announce that defencemen Joe Llewellyn and Tom Stephens along with forward Aaron Moody will be signing for the Pitbulls on a two-way arrangement with the Oxford City Stars for 22-23.  

The trio will be signing with Pitbulls NIHL2/National teams, then sent to Oxford in the NIHL1 on the two-way arrangement. This will be where they will be based for the 22-23 season. They will be training with NIHL2 in Bristol and the possibility of moving up into the National League group if required, keeping them amongst the core that is being built in Bristol.  

Moody signed for the Pitbulls in 2021-22 on a two-way with the Wildcats 2s after spending the previous year in New York in the USPHL, Moody scored 5 goals and added 9 assists in 29 games whilst being a key part of the penalty kill in Bristol.  

Like Moody, Joe Llewellyn signed for Bristol after a time abroad, for Joe it was in Sweden for Visby/Roma J20. He made 33 appearances in Bristol last season, contributing 8 assists. Llewellyn was captain of the Okanagan Hockey Academy pre-Covid and made an appearance for England alongside Elliot Lewis at the end of April.  

Before signing on a two-way with Bristol and Wildcats 2s last season, Tom Stephens had spent all his hockey career in Milton Keynes, playing 21 times in the NIHL 1 South for the MK Thunder pre-Covid. In his debut season in Bristol, Stephens had 2 assists in his 30 games on the blue line.  

Jamie Elson is pleased to be able to offer the trio the chance to play good, regular minutes in the NIHL1. He said, “We are really pleased to have Aaron, Joe and Tom signing on two-way deals between the two clubs for the year ahead. All three were a big part of our team in NIHL1 last season and we feel that further game time in that division will benefit their development at this stage. They are all signing within our set-up in Bristol and will have access to training with our NIHL2 team, as well as training and playing with Oxford NIHL1 on a weekly basis.  

“Shane [Moore] and Simon [Anderson] are putting together a strong team in Oxford this season and these three will be big guys for them. They will continue to get good ice time at NIHL1 and hopefully be playing in key situations for the Stars. Shane and I will be speaking on a weekly basis to get feedback and updates on the guys so we can continue to monitor them and see where they need extra work in practice.  

“Joe has already had a taste of National League with Swindon during his final year at U18 hockey at OHA. He trained regularly with them and featured in a handful of games that year. He has had National League hockey as a target and is currently working hard through the summer to be ready for the new season. He has a good understanding of the game from his OHA days. He’s very easy to coach and work with.   

“Aaron is a player that I feel is really underrated. He really has started to understand the type of player he is and where he can be successful within a line-up. Last season he worked extremely hard for the team and never moans about anything. He does his role for the team and contributed to both our PK and PP massively last season. I think he’s starting to see what level he can play at, and this will be a big year for him. I think he needs a year at NIHL1 being a bigger part of the line-up and having more pressure and expectation on him. I’m looking forward to seeing how he does.  

“Tom Stephens is another young D man with great potential. He came to Bristol after a year in OHA in Swindon and works hard on his game. Again, he’s still young so has lots of time still to develop. He plays a simple style and understands the game well. He has great character and was right up there as one of the best team guys we had in our room last year. He, like Aaron, needs a year playing more minutes and having more pressure on him. The year in Oxford will be a fantastic opportunity for him. He is another guy we would love to see push through to the National league in time.  

“All three are under 23, so are allowed to play between the different leagues without any limit or restrictions, so that really allows them to get the most out of the situation in terms of training and game opportunities. We all look forward to seeing how they do with Oxford once the season starts.”