Joel Ward’s path to the NHL was a long one. The undrafted right winger spent eleven years playing both university and AHL hockey before making it to the NHL. Since he made it to the big game, he’s played for the Wild, Predators, Capitals, and Sharks.
Now the thirty-six year old forward is on the edge again, waiting for a PTO or contract as training camp draws near. Ward spoke about his situation with The Score at BioSteel Camp.
“Haven’t really thought about it,” Ward said when asked if he’s thinking about playing in a European league or retiring. “I think we’re all fighting for contracts, for sure, so I think the main thing is to stay patient and just be ready.”
Ward was injured by Nate Schmidt during his final season with the Sharks, and scored only 12 points in 54 games played. He was benched for the playoffs despite being healthy.
“I definitely wanted to play … it was unfortunate, I suffered a pretty tough (shoulder) injury down the stretch and it was hard to get back in (the lineup),” Ward said. “You always want to be playing, regardless of the sport. You always want to get out there and help your squad win. But, it’s part of the game sometimes and it definitely gave me some good fire in the belly to get after it this summer.”
“Looking back, you just hope to play one (NHL) game…One turned into a couple more and it just kept going from there,” Ward said. “Once you get a taste of it, you want to stay.”
C’mon–who wouldn’t want to sign this guy?
Headline photo: @biosteelsports
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