The Alaska Aces have re-signed veteran defenseman Steve Ward and rookie forward Tim Hall for the 2012-2013 season, Head Coach Rob Murray announced on Thursday. Ward will enter his sixth professional season, and third in Alaska. Hall is set to enter his first full campaign at the pro level.
Ward, 26, has helped anchor the Aces to having the top defensive unit in the ECHL in each of the last two seasons. In that time, he has played in 131 regular season games and 23 postseason games for Alaska. The 6’0", 195 lbs. two-way defenseman has totaled 48 points (10g-38a) in the regular season and nine points (3g-6a) in the playoffs. Last season Ward was the third highest scoring defenseman with 25 points (5g-20a) in 62 games. He also finished third on the team with a +14 rating. The Scarborough, Ontario native first arrived in Alaska after being acquired from Greenville in the first week of the 2010-11 regular season. He finished the year with 23 points (5g-18a) in 69 games and helped lead the Aces to a Kelly Cup Championship. Prior to turning pro, Ward played his junior hockey in the OHL with the Sarnia Sting and Plymouth Whalers. In 2007 he helped lead the Whalers to the OHL Championship, and a berth in the Memorial Cup tournament.
Hall, 22, will enter his first full pro season after joining the Aces as an amateur last year. Just a week after his collegiate career at Colorado College ended, Hall made his pro debut in mid-March. He appeared in eight games for Alaska and registered a pair of assists. He also played in five postseason games for Alaska. Hall was used primarily as a defensive forward at CC. The 5’8", 175 lbs. native of Sewickley, Pa. finished with 40 points (16g-24a) in 135 college games. Last season as a senior, Hall had five goals and three assists in 34 games. Four of his five goals came in the final 12 games of the year. Hall was a mathematical economics major who twice was named to the WCHA All-Academic team. His best offensive production came as a sophomore when Hall had 18 points (5g-13a) in 38 games and was given the team’s Most Improved Player Award.