(Originally published at Sports Radio Service)
Continuing a busy first week of free agency, the San Jose Sharks have signed former Washington Capital Joel Ward. The contract is for three years and reportedly worth $3.275 AAV. The move adds another veteran to the roster, something of a departure from last year’s plan to rely on younger players. Ward just completed the second of two consecutive 82 game seasons with Washington, a good sign for a 34 year old. Like Paul Martin, Ward made Dan Rosen’s Top 20 UFA list, another departure from the Sharks’ habitual under-the-radar off-season moves.
From the Sharks’ press release:
“Joel is a quality veteran player who can score but also plays an extremely hard-nosed brand of hockey,” said Wilson. “He meshes well with our core group of forwards and has a strong track record of playing his best hockey at crucial times of the season.”
“Joel is an identity player in that he plays exactly the way I want our team to play,” said Sharks Head Coach Peter DeBoer. “He’s big, strong, fast and hard to play against. That’s exactly what we are looking for.”
Ward has shown that he is capable of scoring timely goals and he will certainly bring a wealth of experience to the room. He has 220 points in 517 NHL games, played with Minnesota, Nashville and Washington. Ward hails from North York, Ontario.
The Sharks prospect camp roster has been announced. The full list can be found at the Sharks website. One name that may come as a surprise is Gabriel Boudreau. He was not re-signed by the Sharks, but as he was not re-drafted, he was given a tryout invitation by San Jose.
The annual prospect scrimmage will be held at SAP Center on Thursday, July 9 at 7 pm. Tickets for the scrimmage are available for $5 at Ticketmaster. Proceeds will benefit the Sharks Foundation.