Joel Ward (ice hockey)

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Joel Ward
Joel Ward 2013-03-19.JPG
Ward during his tenure with Washington
Born (1980-12-02) December 2, 1980 (age 33)
North York, ON, CAN
Height 6 ft 1 in (185 cm)
Weight 220 lb (100 kg; 15 st 10 lb)
Position Right Wing
Shoots Right
NHL team
Former teams
Washington Capitals
Minnesota Wild
Nashville Predators
NHL Draft Undrafted
Playing career 2005–present

Joel Randal Ward[1] (born December 2, 1980) is a Canadian professional ice hockey player for the Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League (NHL). He has also played for the Nashville Predators and the Minnesota Wild.

Early life[edit]

Ward was born in Toronto to his mother Cecilia who worked as a nurse, and his father, the late Randal Ward, formerly an auto-mechanic.[2] Both of his parents are immigrants from Barbados. Joel Ward also has two brothers, Shane and Julian. Julian goes by the nickname "Caesar" and was an accomplished minor hockey player growing up. Joel graduated from Sir Wilfird Laurier Collegiate Institute, located in Scarborough, Ontario, in 1998.

Playing career[edit]

Ward playing for the Predators in 2010

Undrafted, Ward played in the Ontario Hockey League with the Owen Sound Platers. After completing his four-year junior career and his final year of eligibility with the Platers in 2000–01, Ward linked up with lower tier professional team the Long Beach Ice Dogs of the West Coast Hockey League to end the season. An unsigned free agent to start the 2001–02 season, Ward attended the Detroit Red Wings training camp on a tryout, but was recruited and played collegiately for the University of Prince Edward Island Panthers of the CIS.

Awarded Rookie of the Year and the Panthers three-time MVP while earning a degree in sociology in his four-year collegiate career,[3] Ward was invited to the Minnesota Wild's training camp in 2006. In his first full professional season he was assigned to the Wild's American Hockey League affiliate, the Houston Aeros, signing his first professional contract for the entire 2005–06 season.

After impressing with his work ethic, Ward earned a two-year deal with the Wild on September 27, 2006.[4] Ward debuted in 11 NHL games with the Minnesota Wild during the 2006–07 season but primarily stayed with the Aeros, developing into a responsible two-way player and improving his points totals in each of his three years.

On July 15, 2008, Ward signed as a free agent to a one-year deal with the Nashville Predators.[5] He made the opening night roster out of training camp for the 2008–09 season and scored his first NHL goal in his first game as a Predator against the St. Louis Blues on October 10, 2008.[6]

In 2008-09, his first full NHL season, he scored 17 goals in 79 games, and his reliability as a defensive forward and success as a utility scoring forward earned him a two-year contract on July 1, 2009.[7][8]

Ward became a free agent after the 2010-11 season and signed a four-year contract worth $12 million with the Washington Capitals on July 1, 2011.[9] On April 25, 2012, Ward scored the winning goal in overtime in the seventh game of the first round of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins. The Capitals advanced to the conference semifinals on Ward's game-winning goal. Ward's dark skin tone - due to his Barbados' heritage - led to many racist comments in online media following his game-winning goal.[10]

Ward's fortune would not continue into Washington's series with the New York Rangers. With the series tied at two games apiece, Ward took a high-sticking double minor penalty on Carl Hagelin with 22 seconds remaining in the 3rd period of Game 5 with Washington leading 2-1. Rangers forward Brad Richards tied the game with under 10 seconds remaining, and defenseman Marc Staal scored in overtime with the Rangers still on the powerplay due to Ward's penalty carrying over into the extra session, giving the Rangers a 3-2 series lead.

After the season he had sports hernia surgery.

On November 1, 2013, in his 336th career game, Ward scored his first career hat trick against the Philadelphia Flyers in a 7-0 Washington victory.

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1997–98 Owen Sound Platers OHL 47 8 4 12 14 11 1 1 2 5
1998–99 Owen Sound Platers OHL 58 19 16 35 23 16 2 4 6 0
1999–00 Owen Sound Platers OHL 63 23 20 43 51
2000–01 Owen Sound Attack OHL 67 26 36 62 45 5 2 4 6 4
2000–01 Long Beach Ice Dogs WCHL 8 0 0 0 0
2001–02 U. of Prince Edward Island CIS 22 13 14 27 16
2002–03 U. of Prince Edward Island CIS 19 11 15 26 24
2003–04 U. of Prince Edward Island CIS 27 14 24 38 42
2004–05 U. of Prince Edward Island CIS 28 16 28 44 42
2005–06 Houston Aeros AHL 66 8 14 22 34 8 4 2 6 4
2006–07 Houston Aeros AHL 64 9 14 23 45
2006–07 Minnesota Wild NHL 11 0 1 1 0
2007–08 Houston Aeros AHL 79 21 20 41 47 4 0 2 2 0
2008–09 Nashville Predators NHL 79 17 18 35 29
2009–10 Nashville Predators NHL 71 13 21 34 18 6 2 2 4 2
2010–11 Nashville Predators NHL 80 10 19 29 42 12 7 6 13 6
2011–12 Washington Capitals NHL 73 6 12 18 20 14 1 4 5 6
2012–13 Washington Capitals NHL 39 8 12 20 12 7 1 3 4 6
2013–14 Washington Capitals NHL 82 24 25 49 32
NHL totals 435 78 108 186 153 39 11 15 26 20

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Joel Ward's Twitter
  2. ^ Best, Tony (November 18, 2011). "Cool US$12m hockey deal". Nation Newspaper. Retrieved November 18, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Right Wing trio adds to NHL's expanding diversity". NHL. 2009-02-02. Retrieved 2010-06-08. 
  4. ^ "Wild signs RW Joel Ward". Minnesota Wild. 2006-09-27. Retrieved 2011-05-08. 
  5. ^ "Predators sign Free-Agent forward Joel Ward". Nashville Predators. 2008-07-15. Retrieved 2009-03-24. 
  6. ^ "Tkachuk nets two power play goals, Blues drop Predators in opener". CBS Sports. 2008-10-10. Retrieved 2010-06-08. 
  7. ^ "Steve Sullivan, Joel Ward stay the cours". The Tennessean. 2009-07-02. Retrieved 2009-07-02. [dead link]
  8. ^ "Trotz excited to have Ward back in the mix". Nashville Predators. 2009-07-01. Retrieved 2009-07-02. 
  9. ^ "NHL Free Agent Tracker". The Sports Network. Retrieved 1 July 2011. 
  10. ^ "Capitals owner Ted Leonsis condemns racist fan reactions to Joel Ward’s Game 7 goal". [1]. 2012-04-26. Retrieved 2012-05-07. 

External links[edit]