Monday, July 14, 2008

Thrashers Sign Unrestricted Free Agent Forward Jason Williams

The Atlanta Thrashers have signed unrestricted free agent forward Jason Williams, according to Executive Vice President and General Manager Don Waddell. As per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Williams, 27, recorded 36 points (13 goals, 23 assists) in 43 games with the Chicago Blackhawks last season. He recorded a season-high six-game point streak from Feb. 23 – Mar. 4, recording nine points (three goals, six assists) in that span and tallied a career-high four points (one goal, three assists) on Oct. 20 at Toronto. The 5-11, 195-pound right wing missed 39 games last season due to injury.

The native of London, Ontario has appeared in 296 career NHL games with Chicago and Detroit, recording 158 points (66 goals, 92 assists). He has registered two points (one goal, one assist) in 20 Stanley Cup Playoff games with the Red Wings and was a member of the 2002 Stanley Cup Championship team.

Williams represented Canada at the 2006 World Championships, recording seven points (two goals, five assists) in nine games. He played with Assat Pori of SM-Liiga in Finland during the 2004-05 season and recorded 43 points (26 goals, 17 assists) in 43 games. He spent parts of three seasons in the American Hockey League from 2000-2003, tallying 94 points (70 goals, 94 assists) in 173 games with Cincinnati and Grand Rapids.

Prior to his professional career, Williams played four seasons of junior hockey with the Peterborough Petes of the Ontario Hockey League, where he recorded 194 points (74 goals, 120 assists) in 249 career regular-season games. He added eight points (four goals, four assists) in 24 OHL playoff games and was named to the OHL Third All-Star Team following the 1999-00 season.

Williams was originally signed as a free agent by the Red Wings on Sept. 18, 2000 and was traded to Chicago for Kyle Calder on Feb. 26, 2007.

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