The Henderson Silver Knights, who will serve as the new AHL franchise for the Vegas Golden Knights, have rounded out their coaching staff today. The Silver Knights hired Joel Ward and Jamie Heward to serve as assistant coaches for Manny Viveiros, who will be the team’s first head coach.
Ward, 39, is very familiar to NHL fans who watched him suit up for more than 800 games over the last 15 years, playing his final three seasons with the San Jose Sharks under head coach Pete DeBoer, who now leads the Golden Knights. He announced his retirement earlier this year and will now jump right into the coaching ranks with the Silver Knights. If there is someone that knows what it takes to grind your way up from the minor leagues and make an impact at the NHL it’s Ward, who went undrafted out of the OHL, spent four years playing Canadian college hockey at the University of Prince Edward Island and then finally got a chance with the Houston Aeros. Ward would end up scoring 133 goals and 304 points in his 726 regular season games, twice cracking the 20-goal mark in the NHL.
Heward meanwhile only played 394 games in his NHL career, but has already spent quite some time in the coaching circuit. An associate coach for the Vancouver Giants the last two seasons, he had previously spent five years as an assistant and director of player development with the Swift Current Broncos. During two of those years in Swift Current, Heward worked under Viveiros, including when they won the WHL championship in 2018.
The Silver Knights were relocated and rebranded from the San Antonio Rampage when the Golden Knights purchased the franchise in February. They are expected to play at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas whenever the AHL season begins, while they wait on the construction of their own facility in Henderson.