Former Capitals’ Forward Joel Ward Named Assistant Coach For AHL’s Silver Knights

Photo: Capitals

The Henderson Silver Knights, the AHL affiliate of the Vegas Golden Knights, announced on Monday that they have hired former Washington Capitals forward Joel Ward and defenseman Jamie Heward to be an assistant coach with the team.

Ward announced his retirement earlier this year after 726 career regular-season games with the Capitals, Minnesota Wild, Nashville Predators, and San Jose Sharks. He recorded 57 goals, 121 points, and a +22 rating in 276 games with the Capitals from 2011-15.

Heyward tallied 11 goals, 44 points, and a -1 rating in 123 games with the Capitals from 2005-2007. In 394 career games with the Capitals, Predators, Los Angeles Kings, New York Islanders, Columbus Blue Jackets, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Tampa Bay Lightning, he posted 38 goals, 124 points, and a -43 rating.

On June 8, 2020, Ward became an inaugural executive board member of the Hockey Diversity Alliance, whose goal is to address intolerance and racism in hockey.

The Silver Knights are set to move to Southern Nevada after 18 seasons in San Antonio, where they were known as the Rampage, for their inaugural season in 2020-21.

Ward and Heyward will serve on head coach Manny Viveiros’ staff.

From Silver Knights

Vegas Golden Knights General Manager Kelly McCrimmon announced today, November 23, that the Henderson Silver Knights have hired Jamie Heward and Joel Ward as assistant coaches. Heward and Ward join head coach Manny Viveiros on HSK’s coaching staff.

Prior to coming to the Silver State, Heward, 49, served as an associate coach for the Western Hockey League’s Vancouver Giants. Heward joined the Giants after spending the past six seasons with the Swift Current Broncos, working as both an Assistant Coach and Director of Player Development. Internationally Heward has served as an Assistant Coach for Canada at two World Under-17 Hockey Challenge tournaments in 2015-16 and 2016-17.

Before embarking on his coaching career, the Regina, SK native spent two decades playing pro hockey after being drafted by Pittsburgh in the first round, 16th overall, in the 1989 NHL Draft. As a defenseman he played for multiple leagues across North America and Europe including the WHL, IHL, AHL, NHL and NLA. Across those leagues, Heward played in a total of 1,278 games, 394 of which were played in the NHL and 186 in the AHL.

Ward, 39, announced his retirement from the NHL in April 2020. His role with HSK will be his first time coaching professionally. During his playing career, Ward, who was undrafted in the NHL, was known as a hard worker who earned every opportunity he received. At almost 25 he signed his first pro contract with Houston of the American Hockey League and one year later made his NHL debut with the Wild in 2006.

In an NHL career that spanned well over a decade, Ward developed a reputation as a reliable two-way forward. In the 2009-10 season with the Predators, Nashville was 21-3-2 when Ward had a point, and he had two 20-goal seasons: One with the Capitals in 2013-14 and one with the Sharks in 2015-16. Throughout his career he played in a total of 726 games for Minnesota, Nashville, Washington and San Jose. He was also selected to represent Canada at the 2014 IIHF World Championship, where he notched nine points (6G, 3A) in eight games played.

Ward graduated from the University of Prince Edward Island with a degree in sociology in 2006. He has been a strong advocate for the NHL’s Hockey is for Everyone campaign and is a member of the Hockey Diversity Alliance.

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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2 Responses to Former Capitals’ Forward Joel Ward Named Assistant Coach For AHL’s Silver Knights

  1. Diane Doyle says:

    Heward is also a former Caps. For the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons immediately post lockout.

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