HAD CAREER HIGHS IN GAMES, ASSISTS, POINTS IN 2001-02
RALEIGH, N.C. (Aug. 8, 2002) – Jim Rutherford, Chief Executive Officer and General Manager of the Carolina Hurricanes, today announced the team has signed defenseman Aaron Ward to a four-year contract. As per club policy, no terms were announced.
Ward, 29, will be entering his eighth NHL season, and his second with Carolina. In a career-high 79 games last season with the Hurricanes, the 6-foot-2, 225-pound Ward scored three goals and had career highs in assists (11), points (14) and penalty minutes (74) in playing the right side of the defense. In 23 playoff games, Ward had one goal, one assist and 22 penalty minutes.
“We’re very happy to sign Aaron to a long-term contract,” Rutherford said. “He provided stability to the right side of our defense last season. His signing strengthens what we feel is a solid defensive corps.”
Ward was acquired from the Detroit Red Wings for a 2002 second-round draft pick on July 9, 2001. Ward was a first round pick (No. 5 overall) by the Winnipeg Jets in 1991. He was traded to Detroit along with a 1993 fourth-round pick on June 11, 1993 for left winger Paul Ysebaert and right winger Alan Kerr.
Ward played three seasons with the University of Michigan (1990-91 to 1992-93). In 118 games, Ward had 20 goals, 31 assists and 263 penalty minutes. He played four games for the Canadian National Team in the World Junior Championships in 1992-93.