by Ron Spence
Michael Ward isn’t the second coming of Luc Bourdon.
Like Bourdon, however, he grew up in Shippagan, New Brunswick, and played for the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles.
Bourdon was drafted 10th overall by the Vancouver Canucks in 2005, and Ward was drafted 197th – in the 8th round – by the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2007.
Ward, recently signed by the Canucks, has a considerable upside.
The Screaming Eagles are a good QMJHL team and finished with 46 wins against 18 losses this past season (They were 5th in goals against in the league, and had the 5th most goals.).
And Ward was voted the Varsity Sportswear Trophy as the Screaming Eagles’ top defenceman. He had seven goals and 26 assists for 33 points in 63 contests in 2008-09.
Ward played well, plus sometimes took on the role of enforcer. In one particular tilt he battled heavyweight Ryan Spalding.
Growing up in Shippagan, Ward always viewed Bourdon as a role model.
This summer, he was looking forward to playing in Bourdon’s golf tournament.
“I wanted to be part of that because I think it’s something special because what he did around and everything was fantastic. And I wanted to be a part of that,” Ward said.
And, you can bet that because his hero played in Vancouver, Ward signed with the ‘nucks.