Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

New York Islanders Olympic Player Profile: John Tavares

New York Islanders captain John Tavares has quickly become one of the league’s best scorers and will get to showcase his talents to the rest of the world in Sochi as a member of Team Canada. The former number 1 overall pick and All Star is on pace for his best season yet, with 66 points in 59 games, and likely heading back to the All Star Game this season. Although the Islanders are struggling this season, Tavares continues to grow after carrying the team through a surprising first round battle with the Penguins in last season’s Playoffs. John Tavares has grown into one of the game’s best young leaders and his play will be vital to the success of the Canadians.

One of the best two-way players, there really isn’t a weakness in Tavares’ game. His speed and very good hands make him difficult to take off the puck as well as a solid backchecker. Not only is he a great finisher around the net but also one of the best passers in the game, evidenced by his 42 assists this season, making everyone around him that much better. The fact that he features such a balanced scoring attack (top 3 in NHL in both power play and even strength goals last season) makes Tavares a great asset for Team Canada in these Olympics.

Canada is a strong contender to take home the gold every time the Olympics come around just because of the depth of talent available and this year is no different. Even with all the other NHLers, Tavares should still be a top 6 forward and his ability to play either center or wing will surely increase his playing time. John Tavares is one of the top players and will be expected to be a top scoring threat for Team Canada while probably seeing time on both the power play and penalty kill. Tavares is a leader by example so his play and ability to enhance the play of his teammates will play a huge role in the success or lack thereof for his home country.

Tags: John Tavares New York Islanders

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