|Born||October 4, 1981 (1981-10-04) |
Cobourg, Ontario, Canada
|Height||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Weight||191 lb (87 kg; 13 st 9 lb)|
|Los Angeles Kings|
Luleå HF (Sweden)
|NHL Draft||28th overall, 2000|
Justin Williams (born on October 4, 1981) is a Canadian professional ice hockey right winger who currently plays for the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League (NHL).
Justin has also played for the Philadelphia Flyers and the Carolina Hurricanes. He has been part of two Stanley Cup winning teams: in 2006 with Carolina and 2012 with Los Angeles.
Justin 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 Jr.A. (OHA) in 1997-98.
Justin was drafted in the 6th round (125th overall) by the Plymouth Whalers in the 1998 OHL Priority Selection. He 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, Justin 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). He was also frequently injured, perhaps hampering his development.
Justin 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, 200 when he was hit low by Tampa Bay's Brad Lukowich.
The hit tore Justin'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.
On January 20, 2004, Justin was traded to Carolina on 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.
Justin 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.
Justin 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 Justin's high-stick (severely threatened Koivu's eyesight, Koivu was out for the remainder of the year), the NHL did not suspend Justin for his errant action, allowing him to continue participating in the playoffs despite the severity of his infraction.
Justin 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.
Justin 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, Justin signed a 5-year deal with the Hurricanes, worth $3.5 million per season.
In 2006–07, Justin 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.
Justin 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, Justin suffered a torn ACL and MCL in his left knee after a hit by Rostislav Olesz. On December 26, 2007, Justin underwent successful surgery for the torn ligaments and returned on April 1, 2008, only to leave the game with an unrelated back injury.
On September 17, 2008, Justin 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.
Justin 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.
Justin 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, Justin 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.
On February 28, 2011, Justin 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.
|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|
|Competitor for Canada|
|Men's ice hockey|
|Gold||2004 Prague||Ice hockey|
|Gold||2007 Moscow||Ice hockey|
|Senior int'l totals||23||1||5||6||26|
On August 12, 2006, Justin married his fiance, Kelly. They have two children: a son named Jaxon (born in 2008) and a daughter named Jade (born in 2011). In 2009, they bought a house in Ventnor, New Jersey.
Justin's 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 Black Hawks.
Justin 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.