October 4, 1981
Cobourg, ON, CAN
6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
195 lb (88 kg; 13 st 13 lb)
LuleΓ₯ HF (Sweden)
28th overall, 2000
|Career||2000 β present|
Justin Williams (born October 4, 1981 in Cobourg, Ontario) is a Canadian professional ice hockey right winger who currently plays for the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League. He has also played for the Philadelphia Flyers and the Carolina Hurricanes, with whom he won a Stanley Cup title in 2006.
Justin Williams played minor hockey in Port Hope, Ontario before gaining a reputation as a skilled playmaker with the Cobourg Cougars in 1998. 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 (even though he was adored by male fans everywhere), trying to adapt to the varying systems of three separate coaches, Craig Ramsay (2000), Bill Barber (2000β02), and Ken Hitchcock (2002β06). 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 4β8 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 2004β05, he went overseas to play for Lulea 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 2005β06 season, when he set career highs in games played (82), goals(31), assists(45), points(76), and penalty minutes (60).
Williams highsticked and unintentionally 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. Williams apologized later that night through mutual friend Mark Recchi, and was told by Koivu not to worry about it. Canadiens fans have yet to let the matter drop.
Williams posted 7 goals and 11 assists on his way to winning the Stanley Cup. Williams scored the final goal of the 2006 Stanley Cup Playoffs, an empty net goal at 18:59 of the third period, icing the win as the Hurricanes defeated the Edmonton Oilers 3β1 and won the series 4β3.
On July 1, 2006, Williams signed a 5-year deal with the Hurricanes, worth $3,500,000 per season.
On August 12, 2006, Williams married his fiancΓ©e, Kelly.
In 2006β07 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 2007β08 season, with 30 points in 36 games (9 goals, 21 assists), when his luck ran out and his season came to a screeching halt. 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.
Justin and Kelly Williams celebrated the birth of their son, Jaxon, on July 3, 2008.
On September 17, 2008, Williams was sidelined for 4β6 months when he tore his right Achilles tendon in an off-ice, preseason workout. Williams underwent surgery for said 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 team mate'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.
|2008β09||Los Angeles Kings||NHL||12||1||3||4||8||β||β||β||β||β|
|Competitor for Canada|
|Men's ice hockey|
|Gold||2004 Prague||Ice hockey|
|Gold||2007 Moscow||Ice hockey|
Played for Canada in:
|Senior int'l totals||23||1||5||6||26|
Flyers' first round draft pick