I think he was using Hufflepuff in the sense of the less cool second bananas. Coulson's team is Hogwarts, HYDRA is Slytherin, so these also-rans are Hufflepuff. (Or Ravensclaw or whatever the fourth one is called, but I guess Hufflepuff sounds more demeaning.)
The one who should come to mind is the person that Skye is actually supposed to be -- Daisy "Quake" Johnson. She wears special control gloves to regulate her seismic powers, and that's what we're seeing re-enacted here... except that in the comics it was Nick Fury who trained and guided her.
And this assume Ward actual cares about Agent 33, and could possibly be doing the actions he did this episode for completely non-selfish reasons.... And is not doing these actions to gain her trust, loyalty and admiration to use her to further some future plot he has planned.
No, I just don't believe that. Ward sees 33 as a kindred spirit, another victim. He's trying to help her through the same process of recovery and healing he believes himself to have gone through, although he still thinks that kidnapping, torturing, and killing people is a perfectly okay way to do that.
I'm surprised Ward did that. What if the mask is damaged again? That guy was the only one who could repair it.