Williams was left unprotected by Washington heading into the expansion draft, Isabelle Khurshudyan of The Washington Post reports.
General manager Brian MacLellan appears to have had a clear plan in place regarding his protected players as none of the Capitals' unrestricted free agents -- including Williams -- was protected. It would seem to be a sound strategy as it prevents Washington from losing a player in free agency that it elected to not make available, thereby risking another player who was under contract. The 35-year-old notched his fourth straight 40-plus point season in 2016-17 and would seem like a near-lock if not for the availability of T.J. Oshie, Philipp Grubauer, Kevin Shattenkirk and Brooks Orpik.
Williams had 24 goals and as many assists in 80 games.
The 35-year-old winger has had a productive two seasons with the Capitals, notching at least 40 points in both, but is a UFA and is uncertain to return to DC due to cap constraints. The three-time Stanley Cup champion is getting long in the tooth, but is still a productive player and should get plenty of interest should he decide to leave DC. Where he ends up will greatly determine his fantasy value moving forward.
Williams set up two goals -- including a man-advantage helper -- in Monday's Game 3 win over the Penguins.
The veteran winger should continue to be a factor in this series. He's been involved in 136 playoff contests between four clubs, and Williams needs only seven more postseason points to hit the century mark for his career. However, unless the Capitals find a way to storm back from a 2-1 deficit in this series, Williams may have to wait at least one more year to reach said milestone.
With so much attention on "bigger names" like Alexander Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov or T.J. Oshie, it's not uncommon for fantasy poolies to overlook Williams. However, that'd be a mistake with the guy averaging a point per contest in this quarterfinal playoff round. The Capitals will try to finish off the young Maple Leafs with a road win Sunday evening.
William scored two goals -- one on the power play -- in Thursday's 3-2 Game 1 victory over Toronto.
The owner of three Stanley Cup rings, Williams has well-established playoff bona fides, including a spectacular 25-point outburst with the Kings two years ago. He wasn't quite as amazing in his first postseason with the Caps last year (seven points in 12 games), but Williams is off to a fast start in these playoffs. These two goals were huge, as Washington fell into an early 2-0 hole, only to have Williams lead a rally that forced overtime; Tom Wilson ended up potting the game-winner. Look for Williams to continue seeing strong minutes throughout the playoffs; he played 19:32 of this game's 65:15.