Player evaluation: Williams - LA Kings Insider

New York Rangers v Los Angeles KingsJUSTIN WILLIAMS
This season: 81 games, 18 goals, 23 assists, 41 points, 29 penalty minutes, +8 rating, 15:49 time on ice

The good: Before analyzing Justin Williams’ campaign, it’s worth understanding that in 2014-15 the forward that he saw the most time with was Jarret Stoll, and in all previous seasons with the Kings except for 2009-10 (Ryan Smyth), the forward that he saw the most ice time with was Anze Kopitar. Though Stoll did start a greater percentage of shifts in the offensive zone, he is not Kopitar, nor does he have Marian Gaborik as a left wing. Despite the occasionally less skilled linemates and over a minute less of ice time per game, Williams’ 41 points were only two points off his 2013-14 pace. This is sustained, in part, by inflated assist totals on the power play; despite averaging 43 fewer seconds of power play ice time per game, Williams’ power play totals were six points better in 2014-15 than 2013-14 (4-9=13 / 4-3=7). He’s still a top play-driving forward, even if his numbers were slightly below the possession rates he had posted in recent years. It’s almost strange to think that Williams was so injury prone in the adolescence of his NHL career; when he missed the November 6 game against the Islanders due to an eye injury, it was the first regular season or playoff game he had missed since the beginning of the 2011-12 season and ended a string of 225 consecutive regular season games played. Though his shots were down, he can still pick his spots and score; Williams .77 goals/60 was upheld by a 10.3% shooting percentage, tied for his highest seasonal rate as a King. Darryl Sutter also liked the way he sets an example for younger players. “I think Justin’s professionalism, leadership, experience, work ethic, practice habits, game preparation all those, if a young player doesn’t learn from that, then he’s not trying to get better in this league,” he said in March.

The bad: Apart from the absence of playoff hockey that tends to bring out his best, Williams’ shot totals were down. His 140 even strength shots on goal gravitated closer to his shot totals over 48 games in 2012-13 (125) and 49 games in 2009-10 (117) than the 236 games played between 2013-14 (188 ES shots), 2011-12 (187) and 1010-11 (174). In all situations, Williams took 65 more shots on goal in 2013-14 than 2014-15 despite playing in only one more game. He didn’t have a particularly strong start, finishing with two points in April, and endured a 21-game streak between January 17 and March 7 in which he totaled only five points (3-2=5) and a minus-10 rating. He finished the season on a 12-game goalless drought. Those streaks happen in any season though, and really, Williams’ 2014-15 season was more or less the aged-by-one-year version of his 2013-14 regular season.

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Going forward: It’s looking more likely than not that the 2014 Conn Smythe Trophy winner will end his stint in Los Angeles having played in 500 regular season and playoff games and lifted two Stanley Cups. Acquired for Patrick O’Sullivan and a second round draft pick in a March, 2009 three-team trade, Williams served as a shifty, competitive and productive character leader whose arrival (not by chance) coincided with the club’s rise to becoming an elite possession team. Because $64.15M is allotted to 17 players ($59.98M / 16 players if Slava Voynov’s contract is removed) for the 2015-16 season and the salary cap is expected to be in the range of 70-71 million, the Kings don’t have the cap space to re-sign Williams unless a current player under contract for next season is traded or bought out; defenseman Andrej Sekera (UFA) and forward Tyler Toffoli (RFA) appear to be among the team’s priorities. There are also promising (and inexpensive) forwards coming up from AHL-Manchester capable of battling for a greater share of ice time than may have been available before. If Williams does, in fact, sign elsewhere, he’ll leave Los Angeles as an accomplished and ultracompetitive possession player and future Legend’s Night honoree.

Player evaluations: #2 MATT GREENE | #3 BRAYDEN MCNABB | #5 JAMIE MCBAIN | #6 JAKE MUZZIN | #7 ANDREJ SEKERA | #8 DREW DOUGHTY | #10 MIKE RICHARDS | #11 ANZE KOPITAR | #12 MARIAN GABORIK | #13 KYLE CLIFFORD

Detroit Red Wings v Los Angeles Kings

2014 Williams evaluation
2013 Williams evaluation
2012 Williams evaluation
2011 Williams evaluation
2010 Williams evaluation
2009 Williams evaluation


Advanced stats courtesy of War-on-Ice, Stats.HockeyAnalysis.com

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Jake Muzzin

#6 | 6′ 3″ | 216 lb | Age: 27

Born: Feb 21, 1989
Birthplace: Woodstock, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Left

Bio

Muzzin was drafted in 2007 by the Pittsburgh Penguins, before signing to the Kings in 2010. He has since become the first Woodstock, Ontario professional athlete to win a major sports trophy.
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Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left

Bio

As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

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Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right

Bio

Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

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Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: April 24, 1992
Birthplace: Scarborough, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Toffoli is a Canadian professional ice hockey forward, drafted by the Kings in the second round of the 2010 Draft. Toffoli scored his first career NHL goal in his second game in a 4–0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in 2013. He was also named the 2012–13 AHL All-Rookie Team.
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Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

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Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.

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