Michael Ward named assistant coach for the Blizzard

EDMUNDSTON, New Brunswick – Edmundston Blizzard management is pleased to announce the hiring of Michael Ward as assistant coach for the upcoming season. He will assist head coach Simon Olivier.

A native of Shippagan, Michael Ward was head coach of the Rivière-du-Loup Sphinx high school in Quebec for the past three seasons.

Last year, he held the position of technical director with Hockey Rivière-du-Loup. In this role, he participated in the selection of coaches, in collaboration with the Hockey Vice-President and the level organizers, and ensured that a hockey development framework was put in place and followed by the coaches, he ensured that the Association’s values were conveyed in terms of the approach to be used to ensure proper coaching of players, he regularly supervised coaches and provided technical support as needed in the form of on- and off-ice training, and he planned and carried out four coaches’ fraternity meetings during the season.

The 6’2″, 34-year-old Ward has forged a solid reputation on the ice as a defenseman. After a first season in school hockey in Shippagan, he made the jump to the Miramichi Rivermen. His excellent play earned him a second-round selection (22nd overall) in the 2006 QMJHL draft with the Lewiston Maineiacs. He enjoyed great success with Lewiston that same year, the Maineiacs winning the President’s Cup with an impressive record of 16 wins and just one playoff loss.

Another highlight of his young hockey career was his selection by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 7th round (197th overall) of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. He was just 17 at the time. He took part in three training camps with the Lightning and had the chance to skate with star hockey player Steven Stamkos.

Ward continued his junior career with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, with whom he served as captain in the 2009-2010 season. The following year, he enrolled at Acadia University, where he played for the Axemen. At senior level, he played for Lamèque Au P’tit Mousse, the Rivière-du-Loup 3L and the Haut-Madawaska Panthères. Last season with the 3L, he accumulated 8 goals and 14 assists in 23 games.

Michael Ward has returned to Edmundston, where he studied electricity at the Collège Communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick. After graduating, he worked for Groupe Cormier Électrique. His years in the Northwest saw him line up with the Haut-Madawaska team, with whom he won a championship while also being chosen the best defenseman in his first season with the Panthères in 2016-2017.

In 17 seasons since his first junior season, he has played 212 games (11-65 = 76pts) in the QMJHL, 74 games (9-23 = 32pts) in the Atlantic University Sport, 32 games (15-40 = 55pts) in the Northeast Senior Hockey League, 35 games (21-46 = 67pts) in the Circuit Roger-Lizotte and 210 games (34-106 = 140pts) in the North American Hockey League.)

This excellent track record will enable him to provide a solid framework for the Blizzard’s defense.

Blizzard management would like to take this opportunity to thank Martin Michaud and Jonathan Lamy, who have served as assistant coaches over the past few seasons.

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Blizzard president André Lebel (left) presents the Blizzard jersey to new assistant coach Michael Ward. Photo Percy Picard

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Source: Hugues Chiasson, vice-president communications – The Edmundston Blizzard; (506) 740-0623 – cell phone