Will John Tavares become the next captain of the New York Islanders? Photo: Robert Kowal
With Mark Streit now in Philadelphia, the captaincy for the New York Islanders is currently vacant.
And from the looks of it, John Tavares in the early favorite to wear the “C”.
Tavares, the No.1 pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, has become everything the Islanders have hoped he would be. He’s led the Isles in offense every year since he was drafted, and last year he was nominated for the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s MVP after posting 47 points in 48 games and leading the Islanders to their first postseason berth since 2006-07 (though they’d exit in the first round, falling in six games to the heavily-favored Pittsburgh Penguins).
Goaltender Evgeni Nabokov, a veteran of 12 NHL seasons who started 41 of the Isles’ 48 games last year, thinks Tavares is ready to take the next step as New York’s franchise player, and be named team captain. Tavares served as an alternate captain for the Islanders since 2011.
“I think he’s ready,” said goalie Evgeni Nabokov, who became tight with Tavares last season. “We knew last year that he was a leader, not just on the ice. He’s not extremely vocal, but he’s vocal when he needs to be. He’s a very mature guy for 22, and he’s our superstar.”
Sounds like a ringing endorsement for the 22-year-old center. Given all that Tavares has helped the Islanders accomplish in his young career, it’d be a shock if anyone but Tavares was named captain in the coming months.