Justin Williams Bringing More Than Experience To Washington

November 18, 2015: Washington Capitals forward Justin Williams (14) gets position in front of Detroit Red Wings defenseman Mike Green (25) during the second period of a regular season NHL hockey game between the Washington Capitals and the Detroit Red Wings played at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan. The Washington Capitals defeated the Detroit Red Wings 2-1 in overtime. (Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire)

(Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire)

When the Capitals signed three-time Stanley Cup champion Justin Williams to what many considered a discount deal (two-years, $6.5 million) in free agency, the expectation was that he could provide his experience while also chipping in offensively. But 23 games into the 2015-16 season, the 34-year old right-wing has done far more than expected.

While his playoff expertise won’t be needed until the springtime, he has become one of the Capitals’ top scorers, currently sitting fourth on the team in scoring with 17 points (seven goals, ten assists).

BALLSTON, VA Ð JULY 10: Washington Capitals new right wing Justin Williams answers questions during a press conference at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Ballston, Virginia, on Friday, July 10th, 2015. (Photo by Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post)

(Photo by Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post)

Williams’ signing was seen as a smart one for several reasons: one, he knows what it takes to win it all, something the Caps have failed to do in Alex Ovechkin‘s ten years in the District. Second, he would provide the Caps’ young players like Andre Burakovsky, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Tom Wilson, with a veteran leader and role model. Williams has certainly made himself at home in a Capitals sweater, and is on pace for 61 points (25 goals, 36 assists), which would be his second-best numbers in a full season of his career. While he’s not a masterful puck-handler like fellow offseason addition TJ Oshie, Williams’ biggest weapon is his ability to know what to do in certain situations. He seems to have a knack for knowing where the puck is going to be before it gets there, and that is what makes him such an important part of this team.

While his famous “Mr. Game 7” nickname won’t be brought up until April, Williams has been what the Caps wanted and more. He was the perfect fit for the Caps, and he’s now rewarding them in more ways than one.

By Michael Fleetwood

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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