Josh Harding was born June 18, 1984 in Regina, Saskatchewan. The second round, 38th overall selection of the Minnesota Wild in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft, Harding is a graduate of the WHL.
The WHL's Most Valuable Player and Goaltender of the Year in 2001-02 as a member of the Regina Pats, Harding played parts of three seasons in Regina and nearly half season with Brandon finishing with a 70-62-19 record.
A member of Canada's silver medal World Junior team in 2004, Harding went on to make his professional debut with the AHL's Houston Aeros during the 2004-05 season. Following a year of seasoning in the AHL, the former WHLer made his NHL debut with Minnesota during the 2005-06 season while continuing to hone his skills in the AHL.
As a member of the Wild, Harding would often serve as backup goaltender to Niklas Bäckström, though he consistently put up impressive numbers. During the 2008-09 season, though he only appeared in 19 games, his 2.21 goals against average drew the attention of the NHL.
A sever knee injury kept Harding out of action for the entire 2010-11 campaign, but he would return to the Wild for the 2011-12 season. In 34 games for the club he would record 13 wins and solid goals against average of 2.62.
Harding was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2012 and would only appear in five games for the Wild during the regular season. He would also appear in the Wild's five post-season games, serving as an inspiration to his teammates. For his efforts Harding was awarded the 2013 winner of the Bill Masterton Trophy as the NHL player who 'best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.'