Tavares joined Oshawa in 2005 at the age of 15 after being granted exceptional status by the OHL. He finished his OHL career with a league-record 215 goals and 433 points, including 383 during his four seasons with the Generals. He was traded to the London Knights during his final junior season.
"On behalf of ownership, we are extremely excited and proud to honor John with the highest honor in hockey by retiring his jersey in Oshawa. John is a special player on the ice and always a gentleman off the ice, conducting himself in a first-class manner and representing the Oshawa Generals with the utmost respect," Generals owner Rocco Tullio said in a statement. "John will become the youngest player in OHL history to have his jersey number retired. John has remained a close friend over the years, and as an owner and friend, I couldn't be happier for John and our organization."
The Islanders chose Tavares with the first pick in the 2009 NHL Draft, and he has 136 goals and 315 points in 350 games during his first five NHL seasons. He was a finalist for the Hart Trophy in 2012-13, when he helped the Islanders make the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2007.
"To be up there with the three other guys that are there … it's hard to really believe it," Tavares told the Islanders website. "It's something I'll be pinching myself about for a long time. I really appreciate that people believe that I am a part of such a great history like that."