Monday, January 30, 2012

Eastern Conference Eye Candy: John Tavares (New York Islanders)

I wasn't much of a Tavares fan when he broke into the league a couple of years ago, but I've been watching him this season when the Pens played the Islanders then paid more attention to him this weekend at the ASG. I told a friend it's probably because he lost his "baby fat." - LOL

I'm not sure if it's all me though because (I SWEAR) I saw a girl tweet yesterday that "John Tavares has the hockey flow that makes the girls drop trou"

Um ... I suppose I couldn't have said it any better myself and, I won't LIE, I do like that hockey hair ... but ANYWAY, he's all grown up now and, I believe, deserving of an ECEC post - see what you think!

John Tavares began skating at the age of three with his dad who also taught him how to play.  The first hockey team he played for was the Oakville Racers.
I remember my dad putting a stick in my hands. The first time we went skating, he put two blades on my feet, on both feet, so I had four blades. And being a beginning skater, you always had to hold onto the boards, but I would never listen to him and always tried to skate in the middle with everybody else, even though I had no balance yet or no proper form of skating -- he always laughed at me. We always used to argue on whether I should be on the boards or the middle of the ice.

Bridget Samuels / Wikipedia
Just things like that, I remember as a young child, playing with my first stick and just shooting the ball around. I think just watching the game really got me to love it and really want to be a hockey player.
Showing skill at an early age, his parents moved him up one age group to play hockey with older kids at the age of seven (and it didn't stop there).  He played in both minor and junior levels of hockey being one of the youngest players in juniors at the age of 13.  Then in 2005, at the age of 14, he petitioned the OHL to allow him to play in the league which ultimately lead the OHL to create the "exceptional player" clause and draft Tavares one year earlier than his eligibility.  This made him the youngest player to be drafted in the OHL (at the age of 14).

Trying to break into the AHL / NHL at an earlier age didn't work as well for him since they wouldn't allow him to participate in the 2008 draft or play in the AHL at age 17.  Tavares was eventually selected first overall by the New York Islanders in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft then signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the team in July 2009.

He was named the Islanders assistant captain this season on October 6, 2011 and played in his 200th NHL career game on January 7, 2012 against the Phoenix Coyotes (in Phoenix).

Tavares' international play includes five appearances in IIHF events with Team Canada.  He scored five goals and had five assists at the 2011 World Championships in Slovakia; scored seven goals in seven games at the 2010 World Championships where he also suffered a foot injury; and helped win Gold medals with Team Canada in the 2008 and 2009 World Junior Championships (also named tournament MVP in 2009).

THE BIGGEST FACTOR BEING THAT HOCKEY HAIR (as far as I'm concerned!)!!  But just so I don't appear so shallow ... there ARE other things:
(from TORONTO LIFE magazine - May 2009)
John has two younger sisters (Laura and Barbara); and credits his parents, Joe and Barbara, with having the most influence on his hockey career.
“My dad taught me how to play and my mom drove me everywhere so I could play.”
Tavares' uncle, also named John Tavares, was a lacrosse star and is currently the all-time scoring leader of the National Lacrosse League (NLL).  Young John played lacrosse growing up and he was once a ball boy for his uncle’s NLL team, the Buffalo Bandits.

Growing up, he lived five minutes away from Sam Gagner (NHLer currently playing with the Edmonton Oilers) in Oakville, Ontario.  He spent alot of time with Gagner skating and working on their hockey skills on the ice rink Gagner's dad (former NHLer Dave Gagner) built in the backyard.

Tavares demonstrates his smarts well on the ice, but he has them off the ice as well.  While playing in the OHL, he made sure to make education his first priority which earned him the Oshawa Generals' 2007-08 Scholastic Player of the Year award.  I'm questioning this (because I'm not a fan of Tom Brady), but Brady is one of three people that he would pick out of anyone he could have dinner with because he believes that the NFL quarterback “... is an all-around stud and I can learn a lot from him.” [I guess I should give him a little credit because at least it's not Roethlisberger!]

  • 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
  • Website:
  • 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

Information found in this post obtained from the following sites:
John Tavares NY Islander Player Profile page
John Tavares (ice hockey) Wikipedia
NHL Draft Prospect Card: John Tavares
TORONTO LIFE Article: Everyone Wants a Piece of John Tavares - May 2009


TheNWChica said...

I am starting to have a thing for young John. Those eyes.... *sighs* Oh, and he plays an okay game too. :D

Stephanie said...

"Young John" ... how about "tall John" or "smart John" ... "young" makes me feel like a dirty old woman ...

LOL ;)

I'm glad someone else is appreciating him as well -- he does have pretty eyes!!!

THANKS for commenting TheNWChica!!!