October 4, 1981 |
Cobourg, ON, CAN
|Height||6 ft 1 in (185 cm)|
|Weight||188 lb (85 kg; 13 st 6 lb)|
|Los Angeles Kings
Luleå HF (Sweden)
|NHL Draft||28th overall, 2000
Justin Williams (born October 4, 1981) is a Canadian professional ice hockey right winger currently playing 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 14, which has earned him the nickname "Mr. Game 7." He has won one Conn Smythe Trophy for most valuable player in the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs.
Williams grew up in Cobourg, Ontario, and played minor hockey in nearby Port Hope of the OMHA before gaining a reputation as a skilled playmaker with the Cobourg Cougars of the Ontario Provincial Junior A Hockey League in 1997–98. His favourite players growing up were Sergei Fedorov and Wayne Gretzky.
Williams was drafted in the sixth 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.
Williams was drafted in the first round, 28th overall, by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft. In four seasons played with the Flyers, however, 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 (2000–2002) and Ken Hitchcock (2002–2006). Williams was also frequently injured, perhaps hampering his development. He broke his left hand in his rookie season (hit by David Tanabe of the Carolina Hurricanes) and had various sprains and strains in his sophomore year. Williams also suffered a left knee injury on January 18, 2003, when he was hit low by the Tampa Bay Lightning's Brad Lukowich. The hit tore Williams' anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and medial collateral ligament (MCL), and, on January 23, 2003, he had surgery to repair the ligaments. Originally projected to miss four to eight months recovering from the injury, Williams made it back into Philadelphia's lineup in just three months.
Williams was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes 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 Elitserien, 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).
In the 2006 Eastern Conference Quarter-finals, Williams injured Montreal Canadiens captain Saku Koivu in the eye without being penalized in Game 3, 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, which severely threatened Koivu's eyesight and forced him out of play for the remainder of the year, the NHL did not suspend Williams for his errant action, allowing him to continue participating in the playoffs.
Williams scored the final goal of the 2006 Stanley Cup Final, an empty net goal at 18:59 of the third period of Game 7. 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 skated 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 five-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 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 thought to be sidelined for four-to-six months when he tore his right Achilles tendon in an off-ice, pre-season workout. Williams underwent surgery for the injury the following day, on September 18. Williams again surprised fans and analysts, however, when he returned from his 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, North Carolina, crowd, and played his first full NHL game in nearly 11 months. He played 32 games before he was again injured, this time by a teammate's slap shot, which broke his left hand.
Los Angeles Kings
On February 28, 2011, Williams signed a four-year, $14.6 million extension with the Los Angeles Kings. He scored 15 points in the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs, helping the Kings win their first NHL title.
During the 2012–13 season, Williams scored 11 goals with 22 assists, as the Kings would ultimately lose to the eventual Stanley Cup champions 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 nine goals and 15 assists during the playoffs, including the game-winning goal in Game 1 the 2014 Stanley Cup Finals against the New York Rangers, and the Kings' first in the 3–2 comeback in Game 5 to win the Cup. Williams also had points in all three Game 7 matches the Kings had on the path to the Finals.
Williams' granduncle Zellio Toppazzini was a professional ice hockey player who played 123 games in the NHL 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.
Regular season and playoffs
|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|
|Competitor for Canada|
|Men's ice hockey|
Awards and honours
|Stanley Cup champion||2006 (Carolina Hurricanes); 2012, 2014 (Los Angeles Kings)|
|Conn Smythe Trophy||2014|
- "Hurricanes re-acquire Cole". nhl.com. 2009-03-04. Retrieved 2009-03-04.
- Kings forward Williams wins Conn Smythe Trophy
- Kimelman, Adam (2 August 2012). "Williams' day with Cup includes marriage proposal". NHL. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
- Mazda, Jason (3 August 2012). "Ex-Flyer Justin Williams brings Stanley Cup to Ventnor, Atlantic City". Press of Atlantic City. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Justin Williams.|
- Career statistics and player information from NHL.com, or Eliteprospects.com, or ESPN.com, or Hockey-Reference.com, or Legends of Hockey, or The Internet Hockey Database, or TSN.ca
|Philadelphia Flyers' first round draft pick
|Conn Smythe Trophy winner