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2009 NHL Draft: John Tavares

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers
Leading up to the 2009 draft, will be highlighting some of the top prospects to look out for. Could the Panthers draft one of these players with their pick in the first round (#14 overall)?

Make sure you're the first to know who the Cats pick with their #14 overall pick and all of their other picks in the 2009 draft. Sign up for Twitter today. We'll release our draft picks through a tweet before we even post it on the website.

2009 NHL Entry Draft Site

Up Close With John Tavares (Video)
  John Tavares

The Lowdown:
    6-0, 195 pounds
   London (Ontario Hockey League)
   DOB: 9-20-90 – Oakville, Ontario
   Final rank: 1. Midterm rank: 1 (NA-S)

The Shinny:
The Golden Boy of this draft. A pure scorer. Great hands, mind and hockey sense. Broke the 33-year-old OHL scoring record with his 214th goal in March. He accomplished it in 247 games. Led OHL last season in goals with 58 (in 56 games). Won back-to-back gold medals for Team Canada at the 2008 and 2009 World Junior Championships. Scored eight goals (15 points) in ’09 Worlds, tying Eric Lindros and Jeff Carter for most goals in a career by a Canadian. Was named 2007 CHL Player of the Year after breaking Wayne Gretzky’s record for goals in a season by a 16-year-old with 72.

NHL Central Scouting’s E.J. McGuire: "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."

Oshawa Generals head coach Chris DePiero:
“There's a lot of attributes he brings to the table. He's one of those guys, the things he does in the offensive zone will bring people out of their seats. It's truly amazing. His willingness to be the player he wants to be is there, and to me that supersedes anything that could be perceived as a negative. His willingness to be better every day, he's so competitive, he's got such an inner drive."

Tavares on Tavares: “I think my mom told me when I was young, she saw my passion for the game and realized I had a good opportunity in front of me. She pushed me forward. She used to lie about my age just to get me in certain hockey schools, try and make myself look a little older just so I could participate. She said when I was young, two, three days a week wasn't enough. It had to be every day, six, seven days a week skating and playing because that's all I wanted to do. Playing with older kids, she saw I had the ability.”

Did you know: Three people Tavares would have to dinner are Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan and Tom Brady.

His Favorites
   NHL Team: Toronto Maple Leafs
   NHL Player: Sidney Crosby (PIT), Mike Modano (DAL) and Patrick O’Sullivan (EDM)
   Shootout move: Deke to backhand
   Video game: Halo or FIFA ‘08
   Movie: Step Brothers, Anchorman, or the Time Machine
   TV show: One Tree Hill, Lost, Entourage
   Actor/Actress: Tom Cruise and Jennifer Aniston
   Cartoon: Scooby Doo, Bugs Bunny and Homer Simpson
   Book: The Outsiders and Phil Esposito (his career and life)
   Restaurant: The Keg
   Sport (other than hockey): Lacrosse
   Place to visit: Portugal
   Snack: Grilled Cheese
   Superhero: Batman

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