33-Year-Old Right Wing – Free Agent
Jason Williams Contract Information:
Signed a one-year, $600,000 deal with the Penguins in July of 2011.
The Penguins have re-assigned Williams to AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, the team's official site reports.
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Jason Williams: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Jason Williams.
Williams is a right-handed centerman who has NHL experience at the point on the man advantage, something the Penguins lack. He hasn't played particularly well in the league since scoring 12 goals and 29 points in 39 games with Columbus in 2008-09, but he's had his share of injuries. The Pens signed him as a low-risk option and fantasy poolies should probably look at him in the same manner.
Williams split the 2008-09 season between Atlanta and Columbus, while he seemingly found his stride after joining the Blue Jackets in a midseason trade. Over his final 39 games, Williams chipped in 29 points with an expanded role, proving that he can still be a 55-60 point player in the right system. The Red Wings will give Williams an opportunity to man the point on their second power-play unit, while he could also play his way into the mix as a top-six forward at some point. Still, a more likely line placement is working on the third unit with Valtteri Filppula and Ville Leino. Hopefully for Williams' sake, Rosetta Stone will release a Finnish version of their language lessons in the coming months so he can understand his new linemates.
Williams is a very talented hockey player and should see second line duties along with Slava Kozlov. He put up 36 points in 43 games last year with Chicago and looked great when healthy and on the ice. He played at the point on power play with Chicago, but probably wonít this year with Kovalchuk and Enstrom taking control of that job. But, he is also a force down low who can find open spaces and can put the puck in the net. If he can stay healthy, he would be a 3rd or 4th rounder in your draft. The question is, can he stay healthy?
Williams is part of a couple of hand me downs from the Red Wings that the Hawks have acquired, for example, Robert Lang. Williams showed some spark at times after being acquired from Detroit last season with four goals and two assists in 20 games. There is bound to be one or two Hawks that will jump out of the shadows and score, that could be Williams. A good start this season could go a long way to seeing career numbers.
He parlayed a hot start into a 21-37-58 breakthrough last year, but the production wasnít there at the end of the season; Williams had just three power-play points after Feb. 1, and he was held to two points in the playoffs. Williams could get a bump in power-play time with Brendan Shanahan gone, but thatís far from guaranteed. Add it all up and Williams will be doing well to get those 58 points again; heís certainly good enough to be one of Detroitís top nine forwards, but weíre not talking about a special talent here. If you wind up with Williams, hope he can stick on the Pavel Datsyuk line for most of the year.
Williams has always been knocking on the door of the top three lines but never has permanently kicked it in. Maybe this is the season - he looked good in early workouts in September and was the team's leading scorer in intrasquad scrimmages. He also scored well in Finland during the lockout, for what it's worth.