Islanders captain John Tavares
is the winner of the 2015-16 Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award. Tavares received the honor, given “to the player who exemplifies leadership qualities to his team on and off the ice during the regular season,” at the 2016 NHL Awards in Las Vegas, NV.
Suggestions for nominees were solicited from fans, clubs and NHL personnel, but the selection of the three finalists and the ultimate winner is made by Mark Messier. The other finalists were Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin and Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber.
Tavares led the Islanders to their second consecutive 100-point season and their third playoff appearance in four years. The past season was the Oakville, ON native’s seventh season with the team and third year as captain. Tavares’ 33 goals and 70 points were both team highs, while his five game-winners co-led the Islanders. He also registered 17 multi-point games and posted a career-best plus-6 rating.
The Islanders’ first-overall pick in the 2009 NHL Draft continued the Tavares’ Teammate Program, which provides tickets and VIP game experiences for sick and underprivileged children – from Special Olympics and Ronald McDonald House, among other organizations – for the past five seasons. To date, Tavares has personally donated more than $32,000 to create these special game experiences at Islanders games. He also spearheaded the Islanders’ fundraising for their Military Appreciation Night, donating $5,000 to help the club host more than 300 active and retired service members at the team’s military night on November 8.