Williams notched three power-play assists in Wednesday's 6-1 preseason win over the Lightning. The Hurricanes' man advantage was humming right out of the gate, as Williams teamed with promising youngster Janne Kuokkanen on all three PP tallies. Carolina's new captain will likely settle into a top-six role in the regular season as he looks to score at least 16 goals and 40 points for the sixth straight campaign.
Williams was named captain of the Hurricanes on Thursday, Tom Gulitti of NHL.com reports. Between the addition of 2018 second overall pick Andrei Svechnikov and Czech prospect Martin Necas -- just to name a few -- the Hurricanes are expected to tap into the fountain of youth this season. However, Williams will lead the charge after putting up 16 goals and 35 assists over 82 games last season. The veteran is quite durable, as he's only missed two games in the last three years, so upgrade him in weekly leagues.
Williams finished third in team scoring in 2017-18 with 51 points (16 goals, 35 assists), cracking the 50-point plateau for just the sixth time in his 17-year NHL career. The Hurricanes brought back the veteran Williams this season in an effort to get back to the postseason, but they unfortunately fell short for the ninth consecutive year. Williams is a proven scorer and appears to have a lot left in the tank, but given his advancing age (he will be 37 years old next season), one has to wonder when his production will start to tail off. Looking ahead, he is set to enter the final year of a two-year contract with the Canes and should return to a similar top-six role come October.
Williams scored a goal and set up another in the first period of his team's 3-2 overtime win over Tampa Bay on Saturday. Williams concluded the season as a 50-point player thanks to a strong game to end the year. He's been quite consistent in terms of points in the past five years, scoring between 43 and 52 points per year. But this season saw him go heavy on the assists, notching 35 for his highest total since 2012. What kind of value he has will be determined by his role next year, as he'll turn 37 in the first week of the 2018-19 season.
Williams extended his current point drought to four games Thursday against the Coyotes. Overall, Williams has been a positive addition for the Canes this season, as he's just five points away from cracking the 50-point barrier for the sixth time in his 17-year career. However, he's been held off the scoresheet in 11 of his past 16 games, so he's pulled a major disappearing act down the stretch -- at precisely the time Carolina needed him most, ensuring the team will once again be on the outside looking in at playoff time. The 36-year-old Williams could be looking at his swan song next season as he enters the final year of his two-year contract.
Rank Among Leaders
Last 7 Games
|3 Year Avg||81||21||30||50||7||3||0||3||58||56||11.7|