Joel Randal Ward (born December 2, 1980) is a Canadian professional ice hockey player for the Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League (NHL). He has also played for the Nashville Predators and the Minnesota Wild. Ward was born in Toronto to his mother Cecilia who worked as a nurse, and his father, the late Randal Ward, formerly an auto-mechanic. Both of his parents are immigrants from Barbados. Joel Ward also has two brothers, Shane and Julian. Undrafted, Ward played in the Ontario Hockey League with the Owen Sound Platers. After completing his four-year junior career and his final year of eligibility with the Platers in 200001, Ward linked up with lower tier professional team the Long Beach Ice Dogs of the West Coast Hockey League to end the season.