Ward with the UPEI Panthers (photo by UPEI.ca)
Joel Ward definitely has not taken the conventional path to the NHL. Undrafted, he spent four seasons in the OHL before then going to college in Canada, completing four years at University of Prince Edward Island and earning his BA in sociology.
His choice of a sociology major is interesting in itself. Most college hockey players opt to major in business, coaching, or sports management. Very few choose to go the social science route, but Ward did.
"I just liked (sociology) from day one. I had a good (professor) my first couple of years. I just liked it, just kind of kept going with it, and enjoying the classes. Sure enough, I was close to graduating with my major in it," Ward said. "Now after hockey I can maybe finish up and see if I want to do something with it."
If Ward ended up going back to school for another degree after hockey, what would he do?
"I was going to minor in teaching and become a teacher," Ward said. "Something to do with kids I'll be in the field of."