Justin Williams

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For other people named Justin Williams, see Justin Williams (disambiguation).
Justin Williams
Justin Williams.JPG
Born (1981-10-04) October 4, 1981 (age 33)
Cobourg, ON, CAN
Height 6 ft 1 in (185 cm)
Weight 188 lb (85 kg; 13 st 6 lb)
Position Right Wing
Shoots Right
NHL team
Former teams
Los Angeles Kings
Philadelphia Flyers
Luleå HF (Sweden)
Carolina Hurricanes
National team  Canada
NHL Draft 28th overall, 2000
Philadelphia Flyers
Playing career 2000–present

Justin Williams (born October 4, 1981) is a Canadian professional ice hockey right winger who plays for the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League (NHL). He has also played for the Philadelphia Flyers and the Carolina Hurricanes.

He has been part of three Stanley Cup winning teams, in 2006 with Carolina and twice with Los Angeles in 2012 and 2014. He has played seven Game 7 playoff games in his NHL career, with his team sporting a 7-0 record in these games. He currently shares a playoff record with Glenn Anderson for the most Game 7 goals in NHL history with seven, and has the outright record for most Game 7 points with fourteen, which has earned him the nickname, "Mr. Game 7,".[1] He has won one Conn Smythe trophy for most valuable player in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Playing career[edit]

Williams grew up in Cobourg, Ontario, and played minor hockey in nearby Port Hope of the OMHA before gaining a reputation as a skilled play-maker with the Cobourg Cougars of the Ontario Provincial Junior A Hockey League in 1997-98. His favorite players growing up were Sergei Fedorov and Wayne Gretzky.[2]

Williams was drafted in the 6th round (125th overall) by the Plymouth Whalers in the 1998 OHL Priority Selection. Williams was signed as a 16-year old by the Whalers and split time between the OHL club and their affiliate Compuware Jr.A. club (NAHL) in the 1998-99 season. He finished his Juniors hockey with two seasons played for the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League.

In four seasons played with the Philadelphia Flyers, Williams struggled to live up to expectations as he tried to adapt to the varying systems of three separate coaches, Craig Ramsay (2000), Bill Barber (2000–02), and Ken Hitchcock (2002–06). Williams was also frequently injured, perhaps hampering his development. He broke his left hand in his rookie season (hit by David Tanabe, Carolina Hurricanes), and had various sprains and strains in his sophomore year. Williams suffered a left knee injury on January 18, 2003, when he was hit low by Tampa Bay's Brad Lukowich. The hit tore Williams's ACL and MCL, and on January 23, 2003, he had surgery to repair the ligaments. Originally projected to miss 4–8 months recovering from the injury, Williams made it back into Philadelphia's lineup in just three months.

Williams was traded to Carolina on January 20, 2004, in exchange for defenceman Danny Markov. During the NHL lockout in 2004–05, he went overseas to play for Luleå HF of the Swedish Elite League, where he posted 14 goals and 18 assists in 49 games.

Williams was signed to a one-year deal with the Hurricanes for the 2005–06 season, when he set career highs in games played (82), goals (31), assists (45), points (76), and penalty minutes (60).

Williams injured popular Montreal Canadiens hockey star and team captain Saku Koivu without being penalized in Game 3 of the 2006 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, for which he was villainized in some Canadian newspapers and by many Canadiens fans. In spite of the severity the injury caused by Williams' high-stick (severely threatened Koivu's eyesight, Koivu was out for the remainder of the year), the NHL did not suspend Williams for his errant action, allowing him to continue participating in the playoffs despite the severity of his infraction.

Williams scored the final goal of the 2006 Stanley Cup playoffs, an empty net goal at 18:59 of the third period of game 7 of the Finals. A loose puck along the boards ended up on the stick of Bret Hedican, who passed it to Eric Staal. Seeing Williams open, Staal threw the puck down the ice to him. Williams sprinted down the ice and tapped the puck into the open net, sealing the Hurricanes' first Stanley Cup in franchise history. The Hurricanes went on to defeat the Edmonton Oilers 3–1 and won the series 4–3.

On July 1, 2006, Williams signed a 5-year deal with the Hurricanes, worth $3.5 million per season.

In 2006–07 Williams recorded career highs in goals (33), penalty minutes (73), power play goals (12), and game-winning goals (8). It was Williams' second consecutive season of 82 games played. Williams made his first appearance in an NHL All-Star game at the 2007 NHL All-Star game in Dallas, recording a goal and an assist. Williams also played for Team Canada in the World Championships, winning his second gold medal.

Williams (left) at the 2012 Stanley Cup parade.

Williams was off to a good start for his 2007–08 season, with 30 points in 36 games (9 goals, 21 assists), before his season ended. On December 20, 2007, during the first period of a game with the Florida Panthers, Williams suffered a torn ACL and MCL in his left knee after a hit by Rostislav Olesz. Williams underwent successful surgery for the torn ligaments on December 26, 2007, and returned on April 1, 2008, only to leave the game with an unrelated back injury.

On September 17, 2008, Williams was sidelined for 4–6 months when he tore his right Achilles tendon in an off-ice, preseason workout. Williams underwent surgery for the injury on September 18, 2008.

Williams again surprised fans and analysts when he returned from his Achilles injury on December 4, 2008, more than a month earlier than his earliest projected return date. He was greeted by round of applause on his first shift by the Raleigh crowd, and played his first full NHL game in nearly 11 months. Williams played 32 games before he was again injured, this time by a teammate's slap shot, which broke his left hand.

On March 5, 2009, Williams was traded by the Hurricanes to the Los Angeles Kings for Patrick O'Sullivan and Calgary's 2nd round draft pick. O'Sullivan was then dealt with Carolina's 2nd round draft pick to Edmonton for Erik Cole.[3]

Contract extension/2nd Cup win and beyond[edit]

On February 28, 2011, Williams signed a 4 year, $14.6 million extension with the Kings. He scored 15 points in the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs, helping the Kings win their first championship.

During the 2012-13 NHL Season, Williams recorded 11 goals with 22 assists, as the Kings would ultimately lose to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference Finals of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Williams won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, where he won his third Stanley Cup and second with the Kings. He scored 9 goals and 15 assists during the playoffs, including the game-winning goal in game one of the 2014 Stanley Cup Finals against the New York Rangers, and the Kings' first in the 3-2 comeback in game five to win the Cup. Williams also had points in all three Game 7 matches the Kings had on the path to the finals.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Williams married his fiance, Kelly, on August 12, 2006. The couple have a son together, Jaxon (b. 2008), and a daughter, Jade (b. 2011).[5] They bought a house in Ventnor, New Jersey, in 2009.[6]

Williams' granduncle Zellio Toppazzini was a professional ice hockey player who played 123 games in the National Hockey League. He played with the New York Rangers, Boston Bruins, and Chicago Blackhawks. Williams is the grandnephew of Jerry Toppazzini who was a Canadian ice hockey forward who played 12 seasons in the NHL, most notably for the Boston Bruins.

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season and playoffs[edit]

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1998–99 Compuware Ambassadors NAHL 9 4 2 6 23
1998–99 Plymouth Whalers OHL 47 4 8 12 28 7 1 2 3 0
1999–00 Plymouth Whalers OHL 68 37 46 83 46 23 14 16 30 10
2000–01 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 63 12 13 25 22
2001–02 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 75 17 23 40 32 5 0 0 0 4
2002–03 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 41 8 16 24 22 12 1 5 6 8
2003–04 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 47 6 20 26 32
2003–04 Carolina Hurricanes NHL 32 5 13 18 32
2004–05 Luleå HF SEL 49 14 18 32 61 4 0 1 1 29
2005–06 Carolina Hurricanes NHL 82 31 45 76 60 25 7 11 18 34
2006–07 Carolina Hurricanes NHL 82 33 34 67 73
2007–08 Carolina Hurricanes NHL 37 9 21 30 43
2008–09 Carolina Hurricanes NHL 32 3 7 10 9
2008–09 Los Angeles Kings NHL 12 1 3 4 8
2009–10 Los Angeles Kings NHL 49 10 19 29 39 3 0 1 1 2
2010–11 Los Angeles Kings NHL 73 22 35 57 59 6 3 1 4 2
2011–12 Los Angeles Kings NHL 82 22 37 59 44 20 4 11 15 12
2012–13 Los Angeles Kings NHL 48 11 22 33 22 18 6 3 9 8
2013–14 Los Angeles Kings NHL 82 19 24 43 48 26 9 16 25 35
NHL totals 837 209 332 541 545 105 30 48 78 105

International[edit]

Medal record
Competitor for Canada Canada
Men's ice hockey
World Championships
Gold 2004 Prague
Gold 2007 Moscow
Year Team Event Result   GP G A Pts PIM
2002 Canada WC 6th 5 0 3 3 6
2004 Canada WC 9 0 0 0 4
2007 Canada WC 9 1 2 3 16
Senior totals 23 1 5 6 26

Awards and honours[edit]

NHL[edit]

Award Year(s)
Stanley Cup champion 2006 (Carolina Hurricanes); 2012, 2014 (Los Angeles Kings)
Conn Smythe Trophy 2014

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Maxime Ouellet
Philadelphia Flyers' first round draft pick
2000
Succeeded by
Jeff Woywitka
Preceded by
Patrick Kane
Conn Smythe Trophy winner
2014
Succeeded by
Incumbent