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The Official Site of the New York Islanders

Meet the Prospects, Vol. 15

by Staff Writer / New York Islanders will take a look at the top 30 prospects for the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, as ranked by NHL Central Scouting. We will look at the top 15 North American players and the top 15 European players, in alphabetical order.

Tomas Tatar

Pos: Center              Shoots: Left
Height: 5’11’’            Weight: 176
Born: December 1, 1990 in Ilava, Slovakia
Current Team: Zvolen (Slovak Extraliga)
Final NHL Central Scouting Ranking: #14 European Skater

Tatar played in 48 Slovak Extraliga games this season, tallying 15 points (7-8-15) and 20 penalty minutes with Zvolen. He also appeared in one junior game with HC Detva, registering a goal and an assist.

Tatar represented Slovakia at the 2009 World Junior Championships, scoring 11 points (7-4-11) in seven games to help his home country upset Team USA en route to the Semifinals.

“Tatar has long been known to be a tremendous scorer, but the WJC was his breakout party. Tatar has great hands and a tremendous shot. His ability to be in the right place at the right time is incredible. No player saw his 2009 draft stock rise higher then Tatar after this tournament.”
-International Scouting Services

John Tavares

Pos: Center            Shoots: Left
Height: 6’0’’            Weight: 195
Born: September 20, 1990 in Mississauga, ON, Canada
Current Team: London Knights (OHL)
Final NHL Central Scouting Ranking: #1 North American Skater

Tavares has skated in 247 career OHL games, compiling 215 goals and 218 assists for 433 points in four seasons with Oshawa and London. He has also played in 38 career playoff games, recording 20 goals and 36 assists for 56 points. Tavares’ 215 career goals are an OHL record, surpassing the previous mark of 213 held by Peter Lee for 33 years. He was named Top Prospect by the OHL following the completion of the season.

In 2008-09, Tavares led the OHL in goals (58) and points (104). He scored 50 points (32-18-50) in 24 games after being traded to London during the middle of the season. Tavares also finished ninth in the OHL in playoff scoring with 21 points (10-11-21). His six power-play goals in 14 playoff games tied for the league lead.

Tavares was selected as the 2007 CHL Player of the Year after scoring 72 goals to break Wayne Gretzky’s record for OHL goals in a season by a 16-year-old. He also won the Red Tilson Trophy, given out to the most outstanding player in the OHL, that season. Tavares made his OHL debut as a 15-year-old and was named CHL Rookie of the Year in 2006.

Tavares won back-to-back gold medals with Team Canada at the 2008 and 2009 World Junior Championships. He had 15 points (8-7-15) at the 2009 Tournament to be named World Junior MVP and World Junior Top Forward. Tavares’ career World Junior goal total of 12 ties him with Eric Lindros and Jeff Carter for most goals in a career by a Canadian at the World Junior Championships. In total, Tavares has 20 points (12-8-20) in 13 career World Junior Championship games.

“He is probably better than any other player in the Draft from the top of the circle down at being a threat to score. He’s an offensive player who is reliable in his defensive zone and getting better at that, but yet not asked to do that very frequently. He is pure offense and for his first years in the NHL will probably be asked to do just that…He’s a pure scorer who’s going to be an asset to teams for years to come. His numbers statistically speak for themselves. He is going to be, we predict, an All-Star caliber player for many years in the NHL.”
-Director of NHL Central Scouting E.J. McGuire

“The way he sees the ice and passes the puck through traffic, draw the comparison to whoever you want, but when you watched Wayne Gretzky, if you put your stick on the ice, you’d get the puck on your stick at some point…John is phenomenal at getting the puck through traffic to his linemates, getting to openings. The way he reads the play and can get to where he figures the rebounds will be and bangs in the rebound. He’s a real smart player."
-NHL Central Scouting’s Chris Edwards

“He has great vision and anticipates plays before they develop. Has excellent offensive ability, with a quick hard accurate shot and is a threat to score anytime he has the puck…One-on-one he is absolutely deadly and is deceptive to read on what he will do with the puck. He has a very sublime hockey IQ. He definitely thinks the game at a higher level than anyone else in the Ontario Hockey League.”

Click here
to watch a video profile of John Tavares

Coming Thursday, June 11th: 'The Next 30'—A quick look at 30 more prospects

Click here to read Volume 1 — Carter Ashton and Jared Cowen

Click here to read Volume 2 — Simon Despres and Matt Duchene

Click here
to watch a video profile of Matt Duchene

Click here to read Volume 3 — Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Tim Erixon

Click here to read Volume 4 — Scott Glennie and Matt Hackett

Click here to read Volume 5 — Victor Hedman and Marcus Johansson

Click here
to watch a video profile of Victor Hedman

Click here to read Volume 6 — Jacob Josefsson and Evander Kane

Click here
to watch a video profile of Evander Kane

Click here to read Volume 7 — Zack Kassian and Carl Klingberg

Click here to read Volume 8 — Chris Kreider and Dmitry Kulikov

Click here to read Volume 9 — Louis Leblanc and Robin Lehner

Click here to read Volume 10 — John Moore and Joonas Nattinen

Click here to read Volume 11 — Dmitri Orlov and Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson

Click here to read Volume 12 — Richard Panik and Toni Rajala

Click here to read Volume 13 — David Rundblad and Brayden Schenn

CLICK HERE to watch a video profile of Brayden Schenn

Click here to read Volume 14 — Jordan Schroeder and Jakob Silfverberg




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