Forward Taylor Ward To Begin Pro Career With Ontario
The LA Kings have signed forward Taylor Ward to a one-year entry level contract. He will join the Ontario Reign on an ATO for the remainder of this season and the contract will go into effect for the 2022-23 season. Ward, 23, had a career year as a senior in the NCAA with the University of Nebraska-Omaha by leading the team with 39 points (19-20=39) in 38 games. The 6-2, 210-pound forward set career-highs in all major categories and led the Mavericks in goals, points and power-play goals (12, second most in the Nation) while also ranking fourth in assists. Ward started the season on a 10-game point streak, amassing 19 points (11-8=19) during that span. The Kelowna, British Columbia native played four years at UNO, totaling 115 points (57-58=115) over 131 games. He leaves Omaha ranked sixth in program history in goals, ninth in points and eighth in points-per-game (0.878, min. 50 games). Twice in his last three seasons, he led the team in scoring, first as a sophomore in 2019-20 with 27 points (16-11=27) in 32 games, then as a senior this year with 39 points. As a junior, his 13 goals in 26 games paced all Maverick skaters while his 22 points (13-9=22) ranked second. In his freshman season, Ward tallied 27 points (9-18=27) in 35 games, which third-most among all Maverick skaters, second among all NCHC freshmen, and eighth-most among all college freshmen nationally. For his performance, he was tabbed the 2018-19 NCHC Rookie of the Year and named to the NCHC All-Rookie Team. Prior to Omaha, he skated three seasons with the Penticton Vees of the BCHL, accumulating 77 points (36-41=77) in 162 games while helping the Vees capture the 2016-17 Fred Page Cup as BCHL Champions.