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Prospect Pulse: Nigel Williams

Williams, a Colorado draft pick, started last season with the University of Wisconsin Badgers. Upset with his lack of ice time, 1 game played, he bolted for the Ontario Hockey League over the Christmas break, and proceeded to tear it up, registering 36 points in 46 games as a defenseman.

Williams has followed up that success with a hot start in Sagninaw. In 7 games, he has registered 9 points. Standing 6’5 and weighing 225 pounds, Williams is that rare combination of size and skill. He has improved his point totals as he has progressed through hockey without sacrificing his mean streak.

Once projected to go as high at 11th overall in the NHL draft, Williams slipped to the 2nd round because of his problems at Wisconsin. Though the program was upset with Williams for leaving, he felt that he needed to play in order to develop. He has the size and speed to be an NHL defender but his decision making has not caught up with his puck skills. An avid roller hockey player, Williams is said to be fearless and easily coachable.

Though Williams is likely a few years away from the NHL, he continues to climb up the Avalanche list of top prospects, currently sitting at #6. Keep an eye on this one.

News You Can Use Late in the Day:

Bob McKenzie feels that the NHL should have no problem handing Jesse Boulerice a long term suspension.

-After one game, Carey Price is the new Saint Patrick.

-The St. Paul police name Dwayne Roloson an honorary officer.

Inside College Hockey names its pre-season All-Americans.

Eric Duhatschek doesn’t think that Boulerice’s apology will help him.

-No link yet, but TSN was reporting that the Penguins and Lightning will indeed open next season in Prague.

-Oilers blogger Lowetide reports that Ethan Moreau’s bruised foot may in fact be broken.

-The WHL has approved the sale of the Kamloops Blazers.

Rocky Wirtz re-assigns Bob Pulford.

Rob Ramage found guilty on all five counts. Loses US residency.

Panthers prospect Shawn Matthias figures he can work himself into the NHL.

Dave Scatchard is with the Rangers on a try-out basis.

-The Devils expect to be able to deal Richard Matvichuk soon.

-The Top 10 teams in Canadian college hockey.

Mirtle with a look at each team’s most used power play players.

-No sophomore jinx in sight for Paul Statsny.

Ray Emery sent down to Binghamton for conditioning. Somebody warn the drivers.

Niitymaki hopes to stick with the Flyers.

-A dandy of a fight courtesy of Fanhouse.

On Frozen Blog notes that the NHLFA is enjoying its 10th Anniversary.

-Steve Yzerman tells the crowd in South Bend that they may be the new Hockeytown.

Fanhouse wonders if fighting is on the rise in the NHL.

Stan Fischler takes a look at what is ailing the Rangers. Maybe Scott Gomez could stop counting his money long enough to put up some points?

-The Sioux City Musketeers have put a lot of thought into nicknaming their lone French player. Please write to Illegal Curve and collect your 10 cents if you guessed Frenchy.

-The Beaver County Times reports that Michel Therien is furious over the Penguins lack of effort.

Lightning Strikes notes that the Ottawa Senators are the second choice for who will play the Penguins in Prague next season.

-Two ex-Medicine Hat Tigers meet up in Motown.

-Suicide watches abound in Toronto as the Leafs are already in must-win territory.

News and notes from around the AHL. Notice that the Moose make their debut tonight a full 8 days after the rest of the AHL.

Mats Sundin still has hope for the season.

John Buccigross’ mailbag.

-Interesting website for the hockey fanatic.

Battle of Alberta with a list of questions they would like to ask a coach.

Scott Morrison laments on what the Boulerice incident will do to hockey.

Razor will a slap in the face letter from Dallas to Buffalo.

Ten Questions for the Bruins.

-The NHL will use a compresses schedule in 2008-2009.

Marc Savard will continue to sit and rest his groin.

Covered in Oil with thoughts on last night’s snooze-fest in St. Paul.

-The Dallas Stars have activated Mike Ribeiro.

For Illegal Curve, I’m Kyle Kosior