John Tavares (born 20.09.1990) is a Canadian ice hockey center. He has been playing in the NHL since 2009 and he has played with the New York Islanders and Toronto Maple Leafs. He is also currently captain of the Maple Leafs.
John Tavares drafted to the Ontario Hockey League in the spring of 2005. He was only 14-year-old and because OHL rules did not allow for players under age of 15 to drafted, the OHL made new clause, allowing Tavares to be drafted. The Oshawa Generals selected Tavares as first pick in the draft. Tavares played four seasons in the OHL and was very good – he was OHL goal scoring leader twice (2007 and 2009) and he won Red Tilson Trophy as MVP of the OHL 2007. John Tavares was drafted 1st overall at the 2009 NHL draft by New York Islanders.
New York Islanders
John Tavares played his first ever professional game on 3.10.2009 against the Pittsburgh Penguins – he scored one goal and assist in that game. Tavares made 54 points in his first season and was selected NHL all-rookie team. New York Islanders was a middle of the re-building period of that time and even John Tavares took his place as one of the quality centers in the NHL.
The Islanders did not reach the NHL playoffs between 2009-12, but they reached the playoffs in the shortened 2012-13 season, Tavares was very good and he was 3rd in the NHL with 28 goals. Tavares made three goals and five points in six games, but Islanders were eliminated by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round. On 10.9.2013, Tavares was introduced as a new captain of the New York Islanders. In the season 2014-15 Tavares was second of the points in the regular season of NHL. The Islanders reached the playoffs again, but lost to Washington Capitals in the game seven. In the season 2015-16, the Islanders won playoff series first time since 1993, but lost in the second round to Tampa Bay Lightning.
After the season 2017-18 Tavares’ contract was set to expire and he decided to test free agency market – Taveres decided to leave the Islanders and signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Toronto Maple Leafs
On 1.7.2018, Tavares’ contract with the Maple Leafs was announced. He wanted to fulfill his childhood dream and play for his hometown team – he rejected few better contracts because of that. The Maple Leafs were one of the sleeping giants of the NHL and even team’s roster is good they have been eliminated two times a row in the first round of NHL playoffs after John Tavares came to the team. Tavares was named captain of the Maple Leafs on 2.10.2019.
John Tavares has won two gold medals at the World Junior Championships (2008 and 2009). Tavares also won gold medal in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, but he injured his knee in quarterfinal so badly that he missed remainder of the tournament as well as the remainder of the 2013-14 NHL season.