Jason Williams was acquired by the Blue Jackets from the Atlanta Thrashers for Clay Wilson and a 2009 6th round pick.Â
Williams comes to the Blue Jackets with 7 goals, 11 assists for 18 points in 41 games this season. He has spent time on the right wing, but can also play center. Â The most interesting thing about Williams, and likely why he will fit well with the Jackets is that he can play the point on the power play. Â
This is a low-risk, high-reward move by General Manager Scott Howson. Â He gave up a player who has 1 point in 5 NHL games this season, along with a pick, for a player with 18 points this season.
Another point to note about Williams is that he scored 58 points for the Detroit Red Wings in 05-06. Â He started his NHL career in Detroit when he signed as an undrafted free agent in 2000-01. Â In 01-02, he played in nine playoff games as the Red Wings went on to win the Stanley Cup that year.
Williams joins Mike Commodore and Fredrik Modin as the only current Blue Jackets with Stanley Cup rings.
His short term role will likely be limited to a majority of power play time with some 5-on-5 shifts, so he and Coach Ken Hitchcock can both get comfortable with his level of play on a new team. Â With Raffi Torres returning and Rick Nash probable to return to action this Friday against New Jersey, he will not be needed for a top 6 role. Â He could be seen as a replacement for Jiri Novotny who is currently on IR. Â But do not be surprised to see his role expanded as quickly as he can handle it, as he should be re-energized by his new teammates in their playoff push.Â
Williams was improving throughout his NHL career until injured from a clean hit from current Blue Jacket Raffi Torres. Â It ultimately resulted in his trade to Chicago. Â Last year, he posted 13-23-36 in 43 games for the Blackhawks, but his season was cut short due to injuries. Williams has been healthy this year, playing in 41 of Atlanta's 43 games.