July 03, 2015

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) The San Jose Sharks signed veteran forward Joel Ward to a three-year contract Friday.

Ward had 19 goals and 15 assists last season with Washington. He also had three goals and six assists in 14 playoff games.

''Joel is a quality veteran player who can score but also plays an extremely hard-nosed brand of hockey,'' Sharks general manager Doug Wilson. ''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.''

Ward ranked third on the Capitals with six power-play goals and second on the team with four game-winning goals. It was the second straight season he played in all 82 regular-season games.

The 34-year-old Ward has 97 goals and 123 assists in 517 career games with Minnesota, Nashville and Washington. He also represented Canada at the 2014 World Championships, finishing with six goals and three assists in eight games.

''Joel is an identity player in that he plays exactly the way I want our team to play,'' Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. ''He's big, strong, fast and hard to play against. That's exactly what we are looking for.''

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