RALEIGH, NC – Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the Stanley Cup champion Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has signed right wing Justin Williams to a five-year contract. The deal will pay Williams $3.5 million per season.
“Justin is still just 24 years old and he really came into his own as a premier skilled forward this season,” said Rutherford. “He consistently scored big goals for our team and we expect him to continue to flourish under our system.”
Williams, 24, established career highs in games played (82), goals (31), assists (45), points (76) and penalty minutes (60) during the 2005-06 regular season. He ranked tied for second on the team in goals (30) and points (76) and third on the team in assists (45). The Cobourg, Ont., native had points in 44 of the last 66 games of the regular season and was a key part of the Hurricanes’ special teams units with eight power-play goals and four shorthanded tallies. He ranked second among Carolina forwards in ice time during the regular season at 21:08 per game, spending most of the season playing alongside Hurricanes captain Rod Brind’Amour.
Williams (6’1’’, 190 lbs.) was tied for sixth in the NHL in scoring during the Stanley Cup playoffs with 18 points in 25 games. He ranked tied for fifth on the Hurricanes in goals (7), fifth in assists (11), tied for third in points (18), tied for first in plus/minus (+12) and second in penalty minutes (34) during Carolina’s run to its first Stanley Cup championship. He was second among Carolina forwards in ice time during the post-season, logging 21:36 per game. Williams scored goals late in the third periods of Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals and Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals to seal Carolina’s Eastern Conference and Stanley Cup titles.
Acquired from Philadelphia in exchange for Danny Markov on Jan. 20, 2004, Williams has totaled 36 goals and 58 assists (94 points) in 114 regular season games for Carolina. In 340 career NHL games with the Flyers and Hurricanes, he has notched 79 goals and 130 assists (209 points). Williams was originally selected by Philadelphia in the first round (28th overall) of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft.
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