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Williams excited to continue leadership role with Belleville Sens

December 2, 2021

Like many people, Colby Williams was searching for answers in the midst of the pandemic.

Although an experienced professional, the Regina native found himself without a contract and team, so while he was waiting for the delayed 2020-21 season to begin, the right-shot defenceman reached out to Troy Mann and a quick text turned into a lengthy phone conversation. Once Belleville Senators’ executives and Mann knew of his availability, they felt comfortable offering Williams a roster spot. The bench boss had coached Williams previously, through two mutually successful seasons with the Hershey Bears.

Subsequently, after more than two and a half years apart, the 26-year old was able to re-invigorate his career, clicking again under Mann’s direction. Finding success, the smooth-skating defender played in 27 games during the pandemic shortened season. Not surprisingly, he decided to re-sign with the B-Sens this summer. A critical selling point was the ability to continue to play for the forthright coach.

In essence, Williams was able to choose his own boss, an ideal situation in any profession.

“He’s just a really great guy, treats you with respect, and expects [the best] from you. I think it helps me a lot to have someone who has confidence in me. He’s so detailed, and you know what you’re going to get from him. His energy, his high-pace, and he’s honest that’s the biggest thing.”

In his sixth AHL season, the veteran has taken an increased leadership role as an alternate captain in a young locker room. “I love it,” Williams said of his added responsibilities, “I like it when guys lean on me; pull me aside, whether it’s about hockey or life. I really appreciate it, and I’m actually trying to really pay attention and listen to what guys are saying. Maybe not the words they’re saying, but the message they’re trying to get across. Whether I’m just a soundboard, [or], they’re venting about something that happened and don’t want my advice. I’m just listening, and that’s great, or if they come to me and ask what I [would] do.”

As much as Colby enjoys his new role, he has worked to refine his skills, “I’m definitely working on my skills as a leader. [I want to be] someone that I hope the younger guys can look forward to talking [to openly]. I’ve been really enjoying it. We have a really good group.”

The team has also benefited from Williams’ renewed sense of purpose. Since returning from an early-season groin injury, the Senators have been perfect in four contests. The veteran two-way rearguard has found a prominent role in the Friendly City. He has come full circle. Reuniting with his chosen mentor has helped him become a strong leader working with the organization’s top prospects.

The Belleville Senators’ next home game is Saturday, December 4, 2021, against the Manitoba Moose. Tickets are available via Ticketmaster or by visiting the CAA Arena Box Office.

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