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John Tavares (ice hockey): Misc


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Position Centre
Shoots Left
6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
198 lb (90 kg)
NHL Team (P)
Cur. Team
F. Teams
New York Islanders
London Knights (OHL)
Oshawa Generals
Nationality Flag of Canada Canadian
Born September 20 1990 (1990-09-20) (age 19),
Mississauga, Ontario, CAN
NHL Draft 1st overall, 2009
New York Islanders
Pro Career TBA – present

John Tavares (born September 20, 1990) is a Canadian professional ice hockey centre who was selected first overall by the New York Islanders in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. Tavares signed a 3-year entry level contract in July of 2009.

Previously, Tavares competed at the major junior level as a member of the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). He broke into the OHL after gaining "exceptional player" status at the age of 14, allowing the Oshawa Generals to select him in the OHL Priority Draft as an underage player in 2005. Tavares was named the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) Rookie of the Year in 2006 and CHL Player of the Year in 2007, a year in which he broke Wayne Gretzky's OHL record for goals in a season by a 16-year old with 72. In 2009, he set a new OHL record for career goals as he finished the season with 215, two more than former record holder Peter Lee.

He was the focus of an unsuccessful push to have the NHL's draft rules changed to allow him to participate in the 2008 draft, as well as an attempt to allow him to play in the American Hockey League as a 17-year-old in 2007. Tavares was ranked as the top prospect for the 2009 draft by both National Hockey League (NHL) Central Scouting and International Scouting Services.

Tavares has represented Canada at three International Ice Hockey Federation-sanctioned events, winning gold medals at the 2008 and 2009 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships. He was named the most valuable player of the 2009 tournament after scoring eight goals and fifteen points in six games. He also participated in the 2006 IIHF World U18 Championships, but failed to medal. Additionally, Tavares represented Canada at the 2006 World U-17 Hockey Challenge and 2007 Super Series.


Playing career


Early career

Tavares began playing minor ice hockey with the Oakville Rangers of the Ontario Minor Hockey Association (OMHA). He showed such promise as a hockey player that when he was seven, his parents moved him up one age group and he began playing with older children. From there, he moved on to the Mississauga Braves of the Greater Toronto Hockey League (GTHL). After playing the 1998–99 season with the Braves' novice team, Tavares moved to the Mississauga Senators of the GTHL the following season. With the Senators' AAA minor atom team, Tavares won the GTHL minor atom championship in the 1999–2000 season. Tavares eventually moved to the Toronto Marlboros of the GTHL. During the 2003–04 season, Tavares scored 95 goals and 187 points in ninety games and led the Marlboros' bantam team to the 2004 Bantam AAA Provincial Hockey Championships, where the Marlboros defeated the London Jr. Knights 5–0 in the championship game. Tavares scored one goal in the game and was named the tournament's top forward. The following season, Tavares joined the Marlboros' minor midget team, with which he scored 91 goals and 158 points in 72 games. For his achievements, Tavares shared the Buck Houle Award "in recognition of outstanding on ice performance, leadership and loyalty". During this season, he also played in 16 games with the Milton Icehawks of the Ontario Provincial Junior A Hockey League (OPJHL) in which he scored 11 goals and 23 points. Tavares' debut with the Icehawks came while he was only thirteen, making him one of the youngest players to play junior hockey.

Oshawa Generals

Tavares petitioned to gain eligibility to play major junior in the OHL in the spring of 2005. As OHL rules did not allow for players under the age of 15 to be drafted, the league introduced an "exceptional player" clause, allowing the 14-year old Tavares to be drafted one year sooner than he would otherwise have been eligible. Consequently, Tavares is the youngest player to ever be drafted in the OHL, although Bobby Orr was signed and had played at a younger age. The Canadian Hockey League (CHL), the umbrella organization which governs major junior hockey in Canada, proposed to Hockey Canada recommending that the rule be expanded across junior hockey.

Tavares taking a faceoff.

Holding the first pick in the draft, the Generals selected Tavares, earning him the Jack Ferguson Award, which is given to the player picked first overall in the OHL Priority Selection. Tavares played his first OHL game on September 23, 2005, scoring his first OHL goal in a game held just three days after his 15th birthday. He showed he could play in the OHL immediately, scoring ten goals in his first nine games with the Generals, and finished the 2005–06 season with 77 points, including 45 goals. Tavares was named to the OHL's all-rookie team, and won both the Emms Family Award and CHL Rookie of the Year awards as the top first-year player in both the OHL and CHL respectively.

As a 16-year old in 2006–07, Tavares was selected to represent the OHL for two games in January for the annual ADT Canada-Russia Challenge, including one game in Oshawa. Later that month, on January 25, 2007, Tavares registered a 7-point night in a 9-6 win versus the Windsor Spitfires. He scored four goals and three assists, including his 50th goal of the season in his 44th game. Towards the end of the season, on March 16, 2007, Tavares recorded his 70th and 71st goals of the season, breaking Wayne Gretzky's OHL record for most goals by a sixteen-year-old. He was awarded the Red Tilson Trophy as the most outstanding player in the league, and named the CHL Player of the Year.

Tavares scored 40 goals in 59 games for the Generals during the 2007–08 season, while his 118 points was good for third in OHL scoring. Tavares led the OHL in scoring until he missed several games to participate with Team Canada at the 2008 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships. As Tavares was participating in the 2009 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships, it was speculated that the Generals were set to trade him to the London Knights. Tavares' future with the Generals had been questioned since the beginning of the season as the Generals were not expected to seriously contend for the championship, while the Knights were among the league leaders. The deal was made official on January 8, 2009 as Oshawa sent Tavares, Michael Del Zotto and Darryl Borden to the Knights, in exchange for Scott Valentine, Christian Thomas, Michael Zador and six draft picks being sent to the Generals.

London Knights

Tavares made his debut with the Knights on January 11 against the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors. Making his return to Oshawa at the 2009 CHL Top Prospects Game as captain of Team Orr, he recorded an assist in a 6–1 win over Team Cherry, but injured his shoulder after Zack Kassian of the Peterborough Petes checked him behind the net. On March 8, 2009, Tavares set the OHL goal-scoring record with his 214th goal, passing the previous record held by Peter Lee. The next day, he received his third OHL Player of the Week recognition of the season.

NHL draft status

Although he was born five days after the September 15 cutoff date for eligibility in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, there was a significant effort made to allow Tavares into the draft. Following his 72-goal campaign in 2006–07, Tavares' agents asked the National Hockey League (NHL) and National Hockey League Players Association (NHLPA) to make an exception for Tavares similar to the one the OHL had in 2005. The attempt was unsuccessful, and Tavares' draft year remained 2009. However, in October 2007, it was reported that Toronto Maple Leafs general manager John Ferguson, Jr. had offered the 17-year-old Tavares a spot with their American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Toronto Marlies. Like the NHL, the AHL also declined to amend its by-laws, and Tavares returned to the OHL.

International Scouting Services ranked Tavares as the top draft prospect in the world, ahead of defenceman Victor Hedman, Swedish forward Magnus Pääjärvi-Svensson, and Canadian forward Matt Duchene in its March 2009 update. The 2009 draft class was led by Tavares, who was taken first overall by the New York Islanders, ahead of Hedman and Duchene, who were also considered candidates to go first overall.

New York Islanders

On July 15 2009, Tavares signed a 3-year entry-level contract with the New York Islanders.

International play

Medal record
Competitor for  Canada
Ice hockey
World Junior Championships
Gold 2008 Czech Republic
Gold 2009 Canada

During his rookie season in the OHL, Tavares competed for Team Ontario in the 2006 World U-17 Hockey Challenge in Saskatchewan as a fifteen-year-old, but failed to medal. Later that year, at the end of the 2005–06 OHL season, he was selected to join Team Canada's under-18 team for the 2006 IIHF World U18 Championships in Sweden, but failed to medal once more, falling to the Czechs in the bronze medal game. Later in the off-season, he was invited to the under-18 team's summer camp to prepare for the 2006 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, however an injury prevented him from playing.

During the following season, Tavares was invited to Canada's national junior selection camp for the 2007 World Junior Championships, but was not named to the final team. After completing his second OHL season, however, he was named to the Canada's under-20 team for the 2007 Super Series against Russia. Tavares scored 4 goals and 1 assist as Canada won the series 7–0–1. He earned another invite to the selection camp for the 2008 World Junior Championships and made the final roster for the tournament on his second try. Tavares scored 4 goals to help Canada to its fourth straight gold medal.

Returning the next year with Zach Boychuk, P. K. Subban and Thomas Hickey from the previous year's gold medal winning team, Tavares was selected to compete in the 2009 World Junior Championships in Ottawa. He scored three points in the first round-robin game against the Czech Republic, an 8–1 win, and was named player of the game. In the final round-robin game against the United States, Tavares scored a hat trick for his twelfth career goal of the tournament to tie Eric Lindros and Jeff Carter for the all-time Canadian junior record. In doing so, he helped propel Team Canada to a 7–4 win for top spot in their pool and a bye to the semi-final. He was also named player of the game for the second time in the tournament. Meeting Russia in the semi-final and down 5–4 with 5.4 seconds left in regulation, Tavares directed a shot towards the goal that was blocked but retrieved by Jordan Eberle to dramatically tie the game. Then, as the game was forced into a shootout, Tavares scored to put Canada up 2–0 in the tie-breaker and into the gold medal game against Sweden. Recording an assist in the final, he helped Canada defeat Sweden 5–1 to capture their fifth straight gold medal. Tavares finished the tournament with 8 goals and 7 assists for 15 points in 6 games, second to Cody Hodgson in tournament scoring. He was named one of the top three players on Team Canada by the coaching staff, as well as a tournament All-Star, Top Forward and MVP.

Playing style

Tavares' style has drawn comparisons to hockey legends Mike Bossy, Gordie Howe, as well as Gretzky, especially after breaking the latter's OHL scoring record for a 16-year old. A natural goal scorer, Tavares has been praised by his coaches for his ability to anticipate the play since he joined the OHL. A lack of speed is the most common criticism of Tavares' play, something he has spent his junior career attempting to improve.

The media hype he has encountered has led Tavares to remain guarded when speaking to the media, while his teammates and family attempt to shield him from the spotlight where they can. However, Tavares is regarded as a natural leader on the ice, and a player who puts his team first. The Generals named Tavares as their team captain in 2008, while he also served as the alternate captain with the national junior team in 2009.


Major junior
Award Year
Jack Ferguson Award 2005
Emms Family Award 2006
CHL Rookie of the Year 2006
Red Tilson Trophy 2007
CHL Player of the Year 2007
Award Year
World Junior All-Star Team 2009
World Junior Top Forward 2009
World Junior MVP 2009

Career statistics

Regular season and playoffs
    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2004–05 Milton Icehawks OPJHL 20 13 15 28 10
2005–06 Oshawa Generals OHL 65 45 32 77 72
2006–07 Oshawa Generals OHL 67 72 62 134 60 9 7 12 19 6
2007–08 Oshawa Generals OHL 59 40 78 118 69 15 3 13 16 20
2008–09 Oshawa Generals OHL 32 26 28 54 32
2008–09 London Knights OHL 24 32 18 50 22 14 10 11 21 8
OHL totals 247 215 218 433 255 38 20 36 56 34

International statistics

Year Team Event   GP G A Pts PIM
2007 Canada SS 7 4 1 5 2
2008 Canada WJC 7 4 1 5 2
2009 Canada WJC 6 8 7 15 0
Junior int'l totals 20 16 9 25 4

External links

  • John Tavares player profile on the Ontario Hockey League site
  • John Tavares's career stats at The Internet Hockey Database
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Alexander Radulov
CHL Player of the Year
Succeeded by
Justin Azevedo
Preceded by
Steven Stamkos
First overall pick in NHL Entry Draft
Succeeded by
New York Islanders first-round draft picks
HarrisPotvinGilliesPriceMcKendryBossyTambelliniD. SutterB. SutterBoutilierFlatleyLaFontaineDiduckMacPhersonDalgarnoKingFitzgeraldChynowethCheveldayoffChyzowskiScissonsLachanceKasparaitisBertuzziLindrosReddenDumontLuongoBrewerRuppConnollyPyattMezeiKudrocDiPietroTorresBergenheimNilssonNokelainenO'MarraOkposo
This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at John Tavares. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Ice Hockey Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.

This article uses material from the "John Tavares" article on the Ice Hockey wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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