Born: December 2, 1980 in North York, Ontario ca
On July 15, 2008, Ward signed as a free agent to a one-year deal with the Nashville Predators. 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.
September 27, 2006: Signed as a free agent by Minnesota, September 27, 2006.
On July 3, 2015, Ward, as an unrestricted free agent, signed a three-year, $9.75 million contract with the San Jose Sharks.
Most historical data provided by Dan Diamond and Associates.
Amateur Teams: Owen Sound Attack, Owen Sound Platers, Prince Edward Island
Joel Randal Ward (born December 2, 1980) is a Canadian professional ice hockey right winger currently playing for the San Jose Sharks of the National Hockey League (NHL). Unselected in any NHL Entry Draft, Ward has also previously played in the NHL for the Nashville Predators, Minnesota Wild and Washington Capitals.
July 14, 2008: Signed as a free agent by Nashville, July 14, 2008.
Ward (lower body) won't travel for San Jose's final two games of the preseason, Kevin Kurz of CSN Bay Area reports.
Other data sources include the Hockey Summary Project and Hockey Databank.
Ward became an unrestricted free agent after the 2010–11 season and subsequently signed a four-year, $12 million contract with the Washington Capitals on July 1, 2011. On April 25, 2012, Ward scored the game-winning goal in overtime in Game 7 of the first round of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs against the defending Stanley Cup champions, the Boston Bruins, advancing Washington to the Eastern Conference Semi-finals.
After impressing Wild management with his work ethic, Ward earned a two-year contract with Minnesota on September 27, 2006. He debuted in 11 NHL games with the Wild during the 2006–07 season, but spent his time primarily with the Aeros, developing into a responsible, two-way player and improving his points totals in each of his three years.
In 2014, Ward was selected to represent Team Canada at the IIHF World Championship. He started on the team's checking fourth line, but finished as one of the team's top scorers.
Awarded Rookie of the Year and the Panthers' three-time MVP while earning a degree in sociology in his four-year collegiate career, 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 (AHL) affiliate, the Houston Aeros, signing his first professional contract for the entirety of the 2005–06 season.
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On November 1, 2013, in his 336th career game, Ward scored his first career hat-trick, coming against the Philadelphia Flyers in a 7–0 Washington victory.
As the Sharks prepared to play in the 2016 Stanley Cup Finals against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Ward spoke to ESPN, stating that the NHL's first player of color, retired fellow right winger Willie O'Ree, should have his player number 22 retired by the NHL league-wide, just as Jackie Robinson, the first player of color in Major League Baseball has been honored - and whom O'Ree had met in person in his own younger years - by having his own player number 42 retired league-wide.
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July 1, 2011: Signed as a free agent by Washington, July 1, 2011.
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 extension on July 1, 2009.
December 4, 2005: Signed as a free agent by Houston (AHL), December 4, 2005.