Birth Date: 1/16/1979
Birth Country: Canada (Chapleau, Ont)
Year Drafted: 1997
Round Drafted: 1
Overall Choice: 11
Salary 2003/04: $750,000.00
HW 2004 Mid-Season Scouting Report
Certainly one of the more favoured players of the fans in Montreal because he works so hard and was a scoring guru in the AHL, unfortunately, that latter aspect has failed to translate to NHL success and his other deficiencies are slowly catching up to him. Ward is a poor skater and while positionally he’s good, his abilities on the blades won’t leave him with many chances to score at the NHL level. The problem is not just speed, because if it were simply that, he’d be fine. Ward has no lateral abilities and no footspeed and therefore can’t keep up at this level.
Recently, since his injury, we’ve also seen a reduction in his physical game, and while the injury may play a small part in that, Ward has to realize that it’s this hard-nosed game that was the real reason he was brought up in the first place. He’ll never make it on talent alone, he has to work harder than anyone else in order to stay.
Unfortunately for him, as more and more of our talented rookies take hold, he’ll see his ice time diminish to the point where he’ll be a depth player brought up for injury reasons only. For now he might keep his spot, but it will forever be on the edge and his ultimate destination and destiny is the AHL and scoring glory while teaching other kids what it takes to make it to the NHL level.
Jason Ward was drafted 11th overall in the 1997 Entry Draft by the Montréal Canadiens. In 1999-2000, he made his NHL debut and knocked 37 hits in 32 games. In 2000-01, Jason knocked ten hits in 12 games.