In honor of John Tavares’ 26th birthday we look at his New York Islanders career so far and how he helped save the franchise.
To continue on the tradition at Eyes On Isles, today we will be looking at John Tavares and all he has accomplished so far in his career with the New York Islanders. Being a number one overall pick is difficult, the pressure can be immense but John Tavares has lived up to that number one overall pick status.
He was destined for greatness as the rules had to be adjusted so he could play juniors at a younger age. Luckily for the Islanders he just missed that 2008 draft class cut off and had to wait another year to be drafted.
In his first game with the Islanders he recorded his first assist and first goal and he hasn’t slowed down since.
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He’s has over 50 points in every year of his career except for one. The lockout shortened season, in 48 games he had 47 points leading the Islanders to the playoffs for the first time since 2006-2007.
One of the things that makes him a superstar is he has “it”. He has the knack for big moments and definitely has that clutch gene which is something you want your franchise player to have.
In his first playoff series against the heavily favored Pittsburgh Penguins, he scored three goals. He had a goal to tie and force overtime in Game 3, a game winning goal in Game 4 and the first goal of the game in Game 6 which was an elimination game.
The Islanders ended up losing Game 6 in overtime, but Tavares would get his first playoff experience. He showed that he could thrive in the big moment.
After getting hurt in the 2014 Olympics, the Islanders season went down the tubes. They would find themselves back in the playoffs in 2014-2015. This is when Tavares found his knack for overtime goals.
This goal was huge. I’m a bit biased because this game would end up being my last at Nassau Coliseum, so it has sentimental value to me. I never heard a building that loud in my life, it was awesome.
This game signified Tavares becoming a superstar on a national level. Die hard hockey fans obviously knew Tavares, but this was a huge moment on a NBC broadcast. Nobody discounted Tavares for one of the best in the league after this one.
Then, just this passed year, it finally happened.
Getting the Islanders out of the first round was step one of operation save the Islanders. The next step is obviously hoisting the Stanley Cup. It’s going to take a lot of hard work and dedication but it’s something on his mind and the mind of fans for sure.
He realizes what he means to the organization, he has from day one. For instance on draft day he winked into the camera almost as if to say “Don’t worry I got this”. He’s also shutdown numerous rumors of Tavares to Toronto.
He’s done a lot for this organization already and he is still just 26 years old. JT is in his prime now, it’ll only get better from here. So happy birthday to our captain and we hope to see you lift the cup for us one day.