The New York Islanders announced today that center John Tavares has been named the 14th captain in the organization’s 42-year history.
Tavares has led the Islanders in scoring in each of his first four National Hockey League seasons. The Islanders’ first overall selection in the 2009 NHL Draft will turn 23 on September 20.
“John has developed into an elite player in this league and become the leader of our franchise both on and off the ice,” Islanders General Manager Garth Snow said. “He consistently represents our organization with class and respect. John’s work ethic and determination inspires his teammates to succeed, which makes him the perfect choice to lead our franchise.”
Tavares ranked third in the league with 28 goals in the 2012-13 regular season, while adding 19 assists for 47 points in 48 regular season games. Tavares was named a finalist for the Hart Memorial Trophy (league MVP). He capped his fourth professional season by making his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut, scoring a team-high five points (three goals, two assists) in six games during the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
“I’m honored to be named captain of the New York Islanders,” Tavares said. “To represent my teammates, coaches, management and the incredible fans that support this historic franchise is something that I take seriously. My experiences over the past four seasons have prepared me for this responsibility and I look forward to the challenge of leading the Islanders each season as we contend for the Stanley Cup.”
In 291 career NHL games, Tavares has scored 112 goals and 137 assists for 249 points. The Mississauga, ON, native has also represented Canada at four of the last five World Championships. Tavares attended Team Canada’s Sochi Olympic Orientation Camp in August.
Prior to his professional career, Tavares played in 247 Ontario Hockey League games over four seasons, compiling 215 goals and 218 assists for 433 points. His 215 tallies set an OHL record for career goals, a mark held by Peter Lee for 33 years. In 2007, Tavares was named the Canadian Hockey League Player of the Year, after scoring 72 goals to break Wayne Gretzky’s OHL record for goals in a season. Tavares also played in 38 career OHL playoff games, recording 20 goals and 36 assists for a total of 56 points.
Tavares won back-to-back gold medals with Team Canada at the 2008 and 2009 World Junior Championships. He was named the 2009 Tournament MVP and World Junior Top Forward. His career World Junior goal total of 12 ties him with fellow Canadians Eric Lindros and Jeff Carter for most career goals at the World Junior Championships.