Fred Williams (ice hockey)

Fred Williams (ice hockey)

Frederick Richard Williams (born July 1, 1956, in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada) is a retired ice hockey centre. He was drafted 1st (4th overall) by the Detroit Red Wings in the 1976 NHL draft. He only played in 44 games at the NHL level. He is the older brother of former NHL player Gord Williams.

Professional career

Minor league hockey

Williams started out in the WCHL as a centre for the Saskatoon Blades in the 1971–72 season. He started off slow in his first two seasons with only 41 points in his first 121 games, but then he turned it up. The following seasons would see Williams scoring 36, 70, and 118 points including two trips to the playoffs, helping the Blades to the finals both times with 61 total playoff points. He was 6th in the league in assists with 87 during the 1975–76 season. This attracted the attention of the Detroit Red Wings, who decided to draft Williams with their first round pick in the 1976 NHL draft. He was drafted ahead of Bernie Federko, even though Federko was the scoring leader on the Blades and went on to have a much more fruitful career in the NHL.

Moving up, then down

Williams started the 1976–77 season on the Rhode Island Reds of the AHL but was finally called up the NHL on October 7, 1976. Expectations were high as Williams scored a goal in his debut game against the Washington Capitals. However, the excitement was short-lived as Williams went on to score only six points in the remaining 43 games and was sent down to the Wings minor leagues for the following season. He continued to flounder while playing for the Kansas City Red Wings of the Central Hockey League, even trying to play as an defenceman, but was released at the end of the season. Williams decided to retire, but was quickly pulled out of retirement by an offer from the Philadelphia Firebirds of the AHL on September 15, 1979. He played in 35 games for the Firebirds before being traded to the Maine Mariners. He played is final three seasons for the Mariners scoring 51, 55, and 32 points respectively. Williams retired after the 1981–82 season.

External links

*hockeydb|6517|Fred Williams
* [ Fred's Bio on Hockey Draft]

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