John Tavares (born September 20, 1990) is a Canadian professional ice hockey centre for the New York Islanders of the National Hockey League (NHL). He was selected first overall by the Islanders in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. Tavares then signed a three year entry-level contract in July 2009.
Previously, Tavares competed at the major junior level as a member of the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) before being traded to the London Knights at the 2009 OHL trading deadline with Michael Del Zotto. He broke into the OHL after gaining "exceptional player" status at the age of 14, allowing the Oshawa Generals to select him in the OHL Priority Draft as an underage player in 2005. Tavares was named the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) Rookie of the Year in 2006 and CHL Player of the Year in 2007, a year in which he broke Wayne Gretzky's OHL record of 70 goals in one season. In 2009, he finished the season with a career total of 215 goals, breaking Peter Lee's OHL record by two.
Tavares was the focus of an unsuccessful push to have the NHL's draft rules changed to allow him to participate in the 2008 Entry Draft, as well as an attempt to allow him to play in the American Hockey League as a 17-year-old in 2007. Tavares was ranked as the top prospect for the 2009 draft by both National Hockey League (NHL) Central Scouting and International Scouting Services.