Prolific goal scoring centreman Brian Ward agrees to join Belfast Giants
The Belfast Giants have announced the signing of American centre Brian Ward from ECHL side the Adirondack Thunder for the 2019/20 season.
The 27-year-old, who split time between Adirondack and the Binghamton Devils of the AHL last season, joins on the team on a one-year deal.
The first centre to be signed by head coach Adam Keefe, the prolific goal scorer figures to be a top-six player next season and will be expected to bring a scoring touch to the line-up.
A veteran of the North American minor league systems, Ward has split time between the AHL and ECHL over the last three seasons, however he never got the call up to the NHL.
The left-shot centre played predominantly in the ECHL and was good for nearly a point a game, scoring 77 goals and 143 points in 156 contests over three seasons, all of which were spent with the Thunder.
He's been a consistent 20+ goal scorer in all three seasons at Adirondack, with whom he played in three play-off campaigns, scoring eight goals and 14 points in 28 appearances.
In the AHL, he represented the Charlotte Checkers, Albany Devils, Utica Comets, Providence Bruins and, most recently, Binghamton, with his career stats line in the league seeing him score just one goal and four points in 29 games.
Ward captained St Lawrence University in his senior year at college and led the team in scoring as a sophomore, finishing his collegiate career with 27 goals and 70 points with the team in 110 appearances.
The American also wore the 'C' with the Tri-City Storm during his junior career in the USHL.
“I have had a great summer so far and I am very excited to get to Belfast. The timing was perfect and I felt like this was the right move for me," commented Ward.
“The Champions League will be an incredible experience and I have heard nothing but great things about the fans, the city and the organisation.”
Ward will wear #24 with the Giants, which serves as confirmation that winger Jonathan Ferland will not be returning to the team.
Ferland is believed to have retired from hockey, having told his team-mates at the start of last season that it would be his last in the sport, and is interested in going into coaching.
Belfast Telegraph Digital