Las Vegas native, Aberdeen forward Cory Ward makes commitment to Bemidji State hockey

Cory Ward of the Aberdeen Wings, left, goes after the puck as John Simonson, center and C.J. Smith, right, of the Austin Bruins close in during a Nov. 24, 2011 game at the Odde Ice Center. Aberdeen American News Photo/Jon Davis.

The Bemidji State men’s hockey team has received a commitment from forward Cory Ward, a Las Vegas native playing for the Aberdeen Wings (South Dakota) in the North American Hockey League.

According to a Thursday, Dec. 8 report from the Aberdeen American News:

“Wings coach Pete Sauer said Ward signed a scholarship offer Wednesday. Sauer said the Toronto Maple Leafs, Phoenix Coyotes and New Jersey Devils have been to Aberdeen to scout Ward.”

Ward, an 18-year-old captain, was one of 11 NAHL players to be recognized by the NHL’s Central Scouting Bureau as a ‘Player to Watch‘ for the 2012 Draft in October’s preliminary listing.

Listed at 6-foot-0 and 200 pounds, Ward has 11 goals and 21 assists for 32 points in 24 games this season. He scored 32 goals and had 25 assists for 57 points in 58 games to lead the Wings in scoring last season.

Here’s what Sauer said about Ward in feature last November in the American News:

“He is mentally and physically beyond his years,” said Wings coach Pete Sauer. “When you see him play you don’t believe he’s a high school player. He’s a very skilled player.”

You can see more photos of Cory Ward on the Aberdeen News flickr Photostream.

Here are some videos of Ward scoring goals:

Known Bemidji State prospect list (subject to change).

Graeme McCormack (D, Nanaimo, BCHL), Signed NLI.
Brad Robbins (F, Sioux City, USHL), verbal commitment.
Brady Riesgraf (D, Coulee Region, NAHL), verbal commitment.
Cory Ward (F, Aberdeen, NAHL), verbal commitment.

Corey Petrash (F, Winnipeg Saints, MJHL), verbal commitment.
Bob Kinne (F, Lincoln, USHL), verbal commitment.
Brendan Harms (F, Portage Terriers, MJHL), verbal commitment.

Follow Eric Stromgren on Twitter at @estromgren and on Facebook.