Cameron Kenneth Ward
Born February 29, 1984 (age 27) in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
Goaltender for the Carolina Hurricanes
Hey, a Leap Year baby! Cam played his junior years with the Red Deer Rebels (our friend Nicole recalls that he billeted next door to her when she was about 10 years old) and helped them get to the WHL finals twice! He was picked 25th overall in the 2002 draft by the Carolina Hurricanes, but by the time he was ready to play in the big leagues he was sent to the Lowell Lock Monsters because of the lockout. But he made his debut in a great season for the Canes – he was backup for Martin Gerber in the regular season but was in net for their playoff run in 2006. When they won, he became the first rookie goalie to be in net for a Cup run since Patrick Roy did it in 1986! He was also the first rookie goalie to win the Conn Smythe since Ron Hextall in 1987.
After that, he became the Cane’s starting goalie, and even though they missed the playoffs for the next two seasons, they reached the Eastern Conference Finals in 2009 before losing to the Pittsburgh Penguins. That following season, during a game with the Columbus Blue Jackets, Rick Nash’s skate cut his leg so badly that he left a trail of blood on the ice as he was helped to the locker room, yikes. But he came back later in the season and had a very respectable .916 save percentage for the season even though they didn’t make it to the playoffs.
This season, Cam became the fourth goalie in NHL history to do this:
He got that on December 26, 2011. Well done, sir, well done.