Adrian Ward may be three inches shorter and 20 pounds lighter than most of his teammates, but he plays the game like he is a much bigger person.
So, he’s not worried about finding his way in the Maritime Junior Hockey League.
The 18-year-old Goose Cove native, a graduate of the Western Kings major midget hockey program based in Corner Brook, is writing the next chapter of his hockey life as a rookie with the Yarmouth Mariners this winter.
Ward was a late-round pick of the Mariners in 2017 and he spent two weeks at the team’s training camp that year to get a better sense of the style of play at the Junior A level.
He stayed with the intention of returning home to finish his major midget career with the Kings and graduate from high school with his buddies in Corner Brook.
A speedy forward who is tenacious on the puck in both ends, Ward is a small winger tipping the scales at 165 pounds on his five-foot-eight frame.
Despite that, he plans on holding his own by being an aggressive player.
He’s never shied away from fighting for loose pucks against bigger guys in provincial major midget hockey so he doesn’t see why he would have to change much about his approach.
“In order to keep up with the big guys I have to play a little more aggressive and use my small size to squeeze into the holes to get pucks,” Ward said.
He has played in two exhibition games for the Mariners, potting a goal in each, but he doesn’t see himself being an explosive offensive weapon.
He sees himself playing more of a role as a corner man who isn’t afraid to get after loose pucks to set up his linemates.
“I play rough for my size. I don’t mind the rough stuff,” he said.
All he wants to do is help his team put wins on the board. He knows he will have to work for everything he gets and has been feeling comfortable in the early going so he thinks he found a place he will enjoy.
“It’s a great team here and everybody is getting along well,” he said. “They are making all the new guys welcome so I’m pretty happy with it all.”