Stephon Williams
Image: MSU - Mankato

Stephon Williams

Hometown:

Fairbanks Alaska

Currently Playing In:

Pro

Birthday:

1993-04-28

Position:

G

Eligible for draft:

2013

Catches:

Left

Drafted:

2013

Height:

6-2

Acquired:

4th round (106th overall), 2013

Weight:

192 lbs.

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History

2009-10: Stephon Williams played high school hockey for Lathrop High in Fairbanks as a junior and skated for the Arctic Lions midget team. He was a second-team all-star in the Large Schools division behind Alaska high school Player of the Year Blake Mendenhall. Williams was selected by Sioux Falls in the 21st round (311th overall) of the 2010 USHL Entry Draft.

2010-11: Williams played 35 games for Sioux Falls in his first USHL season – sharing the goaltending duties for the Stampede with Finnish 20-year-old Juho Olkinuora. Williams was 20-7-6 with 1 shutout and had a 2.59 goals against and .909 save percentage. Sioux Falls finished third in the Western Division and reached the division finals. Williams was 4-1 in five playoff games; posting a 2.21 goals against and .924 save percentage. In February 2011 he committed to playing college hockey at Minnesota State in 2012-13.

2011-12: Williams began the year with Sioux Falls and was obtained by Waterloo in a February trade – backstopping the Black Hawks to the USHL Finals. Williams was 6-9-2 with the Stampede with a 2.70 goals against and .913 save percentage before the deal – which sent goalie Jay Williams to Sioux Falls. He was 10-6-2 with a 2.79 goals against and .896 in 19 regular season games for Waterloo. The Black Hawks put things together in the playoffs after finishing third in the Western Division. Williams started 15 playoff games and was 10-5 with 1 shutout. He finished with a 2.28 goals against and .922 save percentage. Waterloo took Green Bay to five games in the finals as the Gamblers won their second title in three years.

2012-13: Williams emerged as the starter for Minnesota State as a freshman – playing in 35 games for the Mavericks. He was 21-12-2 with 4 shutouts and had a 2.00 goals against and .924 save percentage. Minnesota State reached the WCHA Final Five quarterfinal and earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. Williams stopped 22 of 25 shots in a 4-0 loss to Miami in the Midwest Regional. Not among the 35 North American goalies in Central Scouting’s final rankings, Williams was selected by the Islanders in the fourth round (106th overall) of the 2013 NHL Draft; one round after New York selected his former Waterloo teammate Eamon McAdam.

2013-14: Williams appeared in 12 games in his sophomore season as freshman Cole Huggins handled the bulk of the goaltending for Minnesota State. He was 5-6 with one shutout — stopping 10 shots in a 4-0 win over Alabama-Huntsville in his final start of the year in February — and had a 3.23 goals against and .862 save percentage. The Mavericks  finished second in the re-aligned Western College Hockey Association and won the league playoff title; falling 2-1 to Massachusetts-Lowell in the NCAA Northeast Region semifinals.

2014-15: Williams signed a two-year entry-level contract with the Islanders in April 2015 following his junior season at Minnesota State, making his pro hockey debut with the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers. He was 3-1 with a 2.12 goals against and .936 save percentage in five games for Bridgeport. Williams was 25-6-3 with 5 shutouts and had a 1.65 goals against and .925 save percentage in 35 games for Minnesota State as the Mavericks were one of the top teams in college hockey. Minnesota State won the WCHA regular season title and defeated Michigan Tech, 5-2, in the WCHA Broadmoor Trophy Championship game. The Mavericks entered the NCAA tournament as the top-seeded team but were upset by 16th-seed RIT, 2-1, in the Midwest Regional semifinals.

 

Talent Analysis

Williams is a bit of a late bloomer who was drafted in his third year of eligibility following an impressive freshman season at Minnesota State. He has had a memorable junior season at Minnesota State after losing his starting job as a sophomore, subsequently signing an entry-level contract with the Islanders.

Future

Williams enters his first pro season in 2015-16. He is now with the AHL's Bridgeport Sound Tigers after spending time in the ECHL with the Missouri Mavericks. His play at Minnesota State suggests there is some upside for the 22-year-old if he can make the adjustment to the speed and skill level of pro hockey.

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