Jason Ward changed course for 2010-11 and played his first season outside of North America, fifteen years after starting in the Ontario Hockey League. Ward has spent the season with EHC Linz in Austria’s Erste Bank Eishockey Liga, a team that sits right in the middle of the EBEL at fifth place out of ten teams.
Ward played four seasons in the Ontario Hockey League from 1995-96 to 1998-99. He began with the Niagara Falls Thunder and moved with the team in his second year when they became the Erie Otters. His third season began with the Otters and ended with the Windsor Spitfires. His final season started with Windsor and ended with the Plymouth Whalers.
Twice, Jason played in the IIHF Under-20 World Junior Championships for Team Canada. In 1998, Canada finished out of medal contention. In 1999, the team lost a squeeker to Russia in the final game and took home the silver medal.
Ward was a first round pick of the Montreal Canadiens in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft, going eleventh overall. Jason played parts of four seasons with the Canadiens and has also played NHL hockey for the New York Rangers, Los Angeles Kings and Tampa Bay Lightning.
In 2002-03, with the Hamilton Bulldogs of the AHL, Ward finished just out of the top ten point-getters with 72. The team went to the Calder Cup finals before being eliminated by the Houston Aeros in seven games. That season, Jason played on Team Canada at the AHL All-Star, contributing a goal and an assist. He was honoured with the Les Cunningham Award as the AHL’s Most Valuable Player.
It is not know where Jason will play in 2011-12. He was joined on EHC Linz this season by another Ontario Hockey League grad, Rob Shearer.
Check out Jason Ward’s profile page at the EHC Linz official website.