Former captain joins Wranglers’ webcast

Jaidan Ward a great addition to 100 Mile House's webcast team

Former captain Jaidan Ward

Former captain Jaidan Ward

The game is a whole new one for Jaidan Ward.

The former 100 Mile House Wranglers captain – the team’s first one ever during its inaugural run last season – is still a common sight at the South Cariboo Rec. Centre. But he’s not down on the ice anymore; he’s up in the stands, and he traded his helmet for a headset.

As the newest addition to the Wranglers’ webcast team, the 21-year-old Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL) veteran brings a ton of unique and insightful commentary that really can’t be gleaned from anywhere else.

He’s a valuable asset to his new team – working beside Josh Hall on play-by-play and Nathan Foote behind the camera – and he’s having a lot of fun.

“It’s a whole different perspective,” Ward says. “You get to see so much more of how the game actually works when you’re trying to explain it to other people.”

The webcast crew is responsible for capturing the action on the ice and transmitting it to viewers at home.

Hall called games for the Wranglers during their inaugural run last season. He says that was special because they were part of the birth of the organization. This year, he adds, they’re trying to set a precedent for the future. He says Ward is a great addition up in the booth.

“Jaidan knows his stuff, ” Hall notes. “He has very good insight in terms of analyzing the play, set pieces and formations. It’s a benefit also because he knows some of the players on the team and how they like to play. He knows what’s going on.”

As local fans will attest, the Junior B hockey club is a huge draw in 100 Mile House. The community is behind the team 100 per cent and the fanfare between periods and during games is likely second to none in the KIJHL. A Wranglers home game is an event as much as it is a contest between two hockey teams. That’s part of what makes the webcast booth a fun place to be. The fans in the crowd make their job enjoyable, explains Hall, who spends a lot of time chatting with them before games.

“It’s nice to get encouragement from the fans,” he adds. “Each of those three jobs [doing the webcast] has its more difficult parts. But all three of us really care. That’s why we’re up there. We’re volunteering because we love it. It’s really actually a lot of fun.”

Eventually Ward wants to help the Wranglers behind the bench and in the dressing room. For now, joining the webcast is the best way to stay connected to the organization.

He was flying solo when 100 Mile hosted the Nelson Leafs and Hall was off sick on Oct. 17. It’s a tough job, he says, and he wishes he was still out there on the ice playing with the guys.

“But I’m having a good time,” he adds. “And I think we’re doing a pretty good job so far.”