The National Hockey League announced today that New York Islanders forward John Tavares is a finalist for the Hart Memorial Trophy, awarded annually to the player judged most valuable to his team. This marks the second Hart nomination for Tavares, who was also a top-3 vote getter for the 2012-13 season.
The 24-year old forward led the Islanders in goals (38), assists (48) and points (86), finishing one point shy of the NHL scoring title for the 2014-15 season. Tavares established new career highs in both goals and points. He added a team-high six points (two goals, four assists) in seven Stanley Cup Playoff games.
Tavares tied for third in the league with eight game-winning goals and ranked fifth in the league with 31 power-play points (13 goals, 18 assists). He recorded a team-high 25 multi-point games and was one of two Islanders to play in all 89 Islanders games this season (82 regular season, seven playoff), marking this past season the fourth time in his career that he didn’t miss a game.
A native of Oakville, ON, Tavares scored four goals on Team Toews in his second career NHL All-Star Game on Jan. 25 in Columbus, tying an All-Star Game record as the sixth player ever to score four.
The Islanders selected Tavares with the first-overall pick of the 2009 NHL Draft. In 432 career NHL games with the Islanders, he has 401 points (174 goals, 227 assists). On the international stage, Tavares won a gold medal with Team Canada at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.
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. He also won back-to-back gold medals with Canada at the 2008 and 2009 World Junior Championships.