Sharks sign Joel Ward to three-year deal

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The San Jose Sharks have signed unrestricted free agent forward Joel Ward to a three-year contract, the club announced Friday.

The 34-year-old Ward spent the last four seasons with the Washington Capitals. This past season, he scored 19 goals and 34 points in 82 regular season games and three goals and nine points in 14 playoff games.

His nine post-season points put him in a tie with Alex Ovechkin for the team lead in that category.

“Joel is a quality veteran player who can score but also plays an extremely hard-nosed brand of hockey,” said general manager Doug Wilson in a statement. “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,” added Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer. “He’s big, strong, fast and hard to play against. That’s exactly what we are looking for.”

Related: UFA of the Day: Joel Ward