Tommy Williams Was The Only One

TOMMY WILLIAMS of Duluth, Minnesota, assisted on Bill Christian's winning goal in the United States' historic 3-2 upset of the Soviet Union at the 1960 Winter Olympic Games. Williams, at 19 years of age, was the youngest member of the Americans' gold medal-winning squad at Squaw Valley.

TOMMY WILLIAMS of Duluth, Minnesota, assisted on Bill Christian's winning goal in the United States' historic 3-2 upset of the Soviet Union at the 1960 Winter Olympic Games. Williams, at 19 years of age, was the youngest member of the Americans' gold medal-winning squad at Squaw Valley.

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Although goaltender JACK MCCARTAN joined the New York Rangers shortly following the conclusion of the Squaw Valley Games, TOMMY WILLIAMS (7 ga, 4 go 6 as, 10 pts) was the only player from the United States gold medal squad to graduate to the ranks of full-time regulars in the National Hockey League for most of the decade that followed the 1960 Winter Olympics.

Williams reported to the NHL’s Boston Bruins for training camp in the fall of 1961 and was assigned to the Kingston Frontenacs of the old Eastern Professional Hockey League, where the 5’11″ 180 lb right wing spent the first year and a half learning the ropes. 26 goals and 70 points in 87 EPHL games overall earned Williams 26 NHL games (6 go 6 as, 12 pts) with Boston for the latter half of the 1961-62 season.

This propelled Williams to a regular roster spot with Bruins, with whom the winger spent the next seven seasons. During most of this time, Williams was, in fact, the only American player in all the NHL; prior to the league’s major expansion in 1967-68 the National Hockey League consisted of just six teams. Williams most productive season in Boston was that 67-68 season with 18 goals and 50 points in 62 games for the Bruins.

Williams was shipped to his home-state Minnesota North Stars as part of a deal for Boston’s first round draft pick in the summer of 1969. What followed was a career year for the North Stars with 15 goals and 67 points from 75 games. Midway through the following campaing, Williams was traded to the California Seals, where his career stagnated.

Williams would jump to the fledgling and rival World Hockey Association for the 1972-73 season with the New England Whalers. Williams, with 17 points in 15 playoff games, helped the Whalers capture the first championship in league history.

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