A Look At: Strathroy’s Jeff Williams – by C. Scott Holland

It’s been a strange season for Strathroy’s rookie forward Jeff Williams who began the campaign playing for Welland, didn’t like it there and got traded to Strathroy.

Although the 6’4″ lefty was born in Sarnia, he grew up on Wapole Island and is the youngest in his family.   “I have three older sisters,” he said.

His early hockey career began in Wallaceburg where he played until he was 12 years-old then joined the Sarnia and Lambton AAA and AA organizations.

Throughout most of his hockey career, he’s been a forward, but did explain about his one season as a defenseman, “I didn’t like it; you don’t get to skate around as much.”

As to the move closer to home via the Welland-Strathroy trade, he stated, “I didn’t like it there (in Welland) and asked to be traded.”

Regarding the Strathroy club, he beamed, “You’re treated like gold by everyone in the organization and I love it here.”

Despite the change the hard-working 200 lbs 18 year-old who turns 19 on Jan. 30th, has struggled offensively scoring just one goal and assisting on six others.

However his physical presence has been a lift to the Rockets since they acquired him on Nov. 13th and Williams felt that he brings “energy, speed and a big body – a crash and bang type of player” to Strathroy.

His opponents must keep their heads up as Williams has delivered some punishing big-time hits.

As for how he could improve his game, he stated, “My defensive game and making sure I check with my defensemen and know where they are.”

With a family that follows him whenever he plays close to home, he knows he has fans watching him, but it is the thrill of playing at Strathroy that ignites a spark in him, “There’s an excitement at home with all the fans making it so much better, it really gets you going.”

Knowing that the Rockets have had their ups and downs throughout the season, Williams said, “We’re just starting to play consistently and finding out who we are as a team. We’re a hard working team with a good work ethic and if we keep playing hard every game we’ll be in them and get some points.”

Holding a positive attitude like that Williams will certainly look ahead for good things to come not only his way but for the Rockets as well.

Fitting in perfectly on the right wing on the Rockets’ third line, Williams plays nicely with centre Steve Griggs.  They have seen a variety of left wingers, most recently T.J. Harris.  The trio had added a lot of punch and tenacity to the Rockets’ lineup.

In the meantime the GOJHL and the West Conference teams as well as the Rockets wish him all the best and a very happy birthday on Jan. 30th! Now blow out those candles and make a wish!

(photo credit – Colleen Wiendels Photography – Strathroy Rockets facebook)

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