New York Islanders John Tavares Joins Elite Company
On Friday, New York Islanders captain John Tavares passed a Hall of Fame player on the Islanders all-time points list.
This last Friday, New York Islanders captain John Tavares sat at 565 points on his NHL career. Ranking him seventh in terms of all-time points in Islanders franchise history.
It was a single point off from Hall of Fame and one of the 100 greatest players in NHL history; Pat LaFontaine.
And in the second period of a high scoring game versus the Ottawa Senators, Tavares provided the primary assist for Anders Lee’s second goal of the night. Bringing Tavares to 566 and tying him with LaFontaine at sixth in the team’s history.
At the rate that John Tavares is scoring this seasons – 1.16 points per game – he’s going to hit 95 by April 2018. Putting him on pace to hit 632 in his career and grabbing sole possession of fifth all-time in Islanders history. Dropping LaFontaine to seventh and Brent Sutter to sixth. And well within reach of Clark Gillies at number four.
It’s remarkable to think that Tavares has been able to jump up the rankings so quickly. We knew when the New York Islanders drafted him first overall in 2009 he was going to be something special.
As an “exceptional player” the OHL changed its rules to accommodate the future superstar. The titled allowed Tavares to join the OHL as a 14-year-old. Through his entire hockey career, John Tavares has been nothing but special.
And now here he is, eight and a quarter seasons after being drafted first overall and his exceptional status continues. Leading the New York Islanders as they right the ship and head towards, hopefully, a championship.
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Can He Hit Top Three?
He will pass Pat LaFontaine. He will pass Brent Sutter. He’ll likely do this season. But we’re all too familiar with Tavares’ contract situation. A pending free agent this summer. Tavares could tip the scales for any NHL team he decides to go for.
If he decides he wants to leave.
We know he wants to stay. At the moment there’s no reason to think he leaves. Unless the Belmont application doesn’t go in the Islanders favor. I’m still 90% sure he stays.
Keeping that assumption, it’s easy to project Tavares signing an eight-year dealing with the team. Keeping him here till he becomes 35-years-old. Likely the rest of his NHL career.
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He’ll make the top five in New York Islanders point leaders this season. But across those eight seasons can he make the top three of Bryan Trottier, Mike Bossy, and Denis Potvin?
If he keeps pace this season, he’ll end with 95 points on the season and 632 in his NHL/New York Islanders career. Leaving him 421 points to pass Denis Potvin (1,052 points) at number three and 722 from Bryan Trottier (1,353 points) at number one.
To catch Potvin, Tavares will need to average 53 points a season across those eight seasons. Something I wouldn’t put pass Tavares. He’s never scored less than 54 in a full 82 game season. Assuming there are no lock-outs it’s safe to say he makes the New York Islanders all-time point leaders top three.
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Pushing for the top spot seems improbable. Tavares needs to average 90 points over the course of his career. If anyone can do it it’s John Tavares, but I’m not holding my breath that at 35-years-old Tavares can challenge for the top spot in terms of scoring in the league. I hope I’m wrong.