Predators sign forward Joel Ward

The Nashville Predators, parent club of the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals, announced today that the club has agreed to terms on a one-year contract with free-agent forward Joel Ward.

Ward posted AHL career highs in games played (79), goals (21), assists (20) and points (41) in 2007-08 with the Houston Aeros, Minnesota’s AHL affiliate. He led the team in goals and points and was tied for fourth in assists. His five game-winning goals ranked second on Houston.

A native of Toronto, Ward added a pair of assists in four Calder Cup Playoff games for the Aeros last spring

Ward has totaled 86 points (38-48-86) in 209 career games with the Aeros since 2005-06, and the 6-2, 205-pound right wing also appeared in 11 games with the Wild in 2006-07, posting one assist.

Prior to signing his first pro contract with Minnesota, Ward spent four seasons at the University of Prince Edward Island, where he notched 135 points (54-81-135) in 96 games from 2001-05, earning conference MVP, CIS All-Canadian and CIS Most Sportsmanlike Player honors as a senior in 2004-05. He is one of just three U.P.E.I. Panther alumni to have appeared in an NHL contest.