The Merritt Centennials are pleased to announce that they’ve committed to defenseman Sam Ward (05) for the upcoming season.
The Ward name will ring familiar for Cents fans as they’ve heard it from older brother Ben Ward for the past 3 seasons in Merritt. The youngest of the Ward clan plays rearguard unlike his two older brothers, and brings an offensive flair to the blueline. In the abbreviated 2020-21 season, Ward collected 2 goals and 1 assist over 4 games of play with the Delta Wild U16 Prep Team of the CSSHL. 2019-20 was spent with the West Van Academy Elite 15s and Ward was able to tally a goal and 3 assists over 36 games.
New Head Coach and GM Dave Chyzowski says that he sees Ward as a player with a lot of upside for his age.
“Sam is a highly skilled young D Man that has a ton of composure for his age. Heads up playmaking defender who see’s the ice very well and has a bright future in Hockey.”
The youngest Ward says that he’s ready to make the jump to the BCHL and join the Cents.
“What has me excited about joining the BCHL and Merritt is the step up to Junior Hockey, the pace of the game, and playing against older, stronger competition. I’m stoked to play in Merritt because I have heard so many good things about the city , fans, coaches, and staff.”
In terms of what he will bring to the team, Ward says he will add speed and skill from the back end.
“My ability to move pucks fast and join the rush, my offensive and defensive awareness, and my compete level are all things that I’m looking forward to bringing to the Centennials.”
Despite the challenging year with the pandemic, Ward says he still managed to progress as a player.
“What I did manage to get in during the pandemic was getting on the ice 3-4 times a week and getting into the gym Monday to Friday.”
Learning from the different paths travelled by his brothers, has set him up to carve his own path.
“Obviously having two brothers going different ways (Matt via the WHL) is a really big learning experience and getting to know how both leagues work is really cool. Some things I’ve learnt from them is that it is not easy no matter which path you take.”
The Centennials would like to welcome Sam, and continue to welcome his family to the team and the Nicola Valley, and look forward to his contributions on the ice and in the community.