RALEIGH, NC - The National Hockey League today announced that Carolina Hurricanes captain Justin Williams has been named a finalist for the 2018-19 Mark Messier Leadership Award.
The Mark Messier Leadership Award is presented annually to the player who exemplifies great leadership qualities to his team, on and off the ice, during the regular season and who plays a leading role in his community growing the game of hockey. Mark Messier personally selects the three finalists and the winner of the award. The other finalists are Flames defenseman Mark Giordano and Predators forward Wayne Simmonds. The winner will be announced at the 2019 NHL Awards presented by Bridgestone at the Mandalay Bay Events Center sports and entertainment complex in Las Vegas on June 19.
Williams, 37, was named the 16th captain in franchise history on Sept. 13, 2018. During the 2018-19 regular season, he posted 53 points (23g, 30a) to help guide the Hurricanes to the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2009. The 18-year NHL veteran spearheaded Carolina's Storm Surge postgame celebrations, helping to develop a bond between Hurricanes players and fans. Williams is a mentor in the North Carolina youth hockey community, helping coach his son's U10 Junior Hurricanes team and assisting during local girls hockey events as well. The Cobourg, Ont., native also runs the annual Justin Williams Skills Development Camp in his hometown during the summer to benefit charity.
The 6'1", 184-pound forward is a three-time Stanley Cup Champion and won the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2014 with the Kings. Williams has registered 786 points (312g, 474a) in 1,244 career NHL games with the Hurricanes, Flyers, Kings and Capitals. He has recorded 305 points (120g, 185a) in 429 career games with Carolina, ranking seventh in team history (since relocation) in goals and assists and eighth in points. Earlier this season, he became just the ninth player to score 100 goals and win the Stanley Cup with two different franchises (Carolina and Los Angeles).
During the 2018-19 regular season, Williams posted his highest single-season point total since 2011-12 and scored 20 goals for the seventh time in his career. He was the oldest player in the NHL to score 20 goals and record 50 points this season, and he was the oldest NHL forward to average at least 17:00 of ice time in 2018-19. Williams became the third player in franchise history to score 20 goals in a season after turning 37, joining Ron Francis (three times) and Ray Whitney. Since turning 30 on Oct. 14, 2011, Williams has played in 619 of 622 possible regular season games.
Williams was selected by his teammates as the winner of the 2018-19 Steve Chiasson Award, presented annually to the Hurricanes player that best exemplifies determination and dedication while proving to be an inspiration to his teammates through his performance and approach to the game. Williams was also chosen by the Carolina chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association (PHWA) as the winner of the 2018-19 Josef Vasicek Award for his cooperation with local media.