Originally written on Race Review Online  |  Last updated 11/19/14

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 09: John Tavares #91 of the New York Islanders during the NHL game against the Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena on January 9, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona. The Islanders defeated the Coyotes 5-4 in an overtime shoot out. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

John Tavares is currently in his third NHL season with the New York Islanders and is continuing to prove why he was the first-overall pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, as well as why he is the face of the New York Islanders franchise and the heart of the New York Islanders offense.

This season, New York Islanders center John Tavares sports an "A" on his jersey to signify his title of Assistant Captain. That single letter visibly represents John Tavares’ title but John Tavares represents more to the New York Islanders than that title can express.

John Tavares began the current NHL season, most impressively, scoring eight points in a two-game span during the second week of October. Tavares has since quietly lifted the New York Islanders offense with a loud impact, continuing his offensive success by tallying a team-leading number of points. Recently, that quiet tallying of points has evolved into the completion of highlight-reel worthy plays, game-winning efforts, and the overall manifestation of a leader.

On Dec. 23, John Tavares displayed an incredible in-game effort as he met his hometown Toronto Maple Leafs team at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum - the home arena of the New York Islanders. The New York Islanders had battled back from a three-goal deficit with the help of goals from Kyle Okposo, Frans Nielsen, and a determined John Tavares. Tavares waited patiently before taking a shot that ultimately beat Leafs goaltender James Reimer at 10:30 into the third period. Tavares’ eleventh goal of the season stole the momentum from the Maple Leafs and inspired the Islanders to increase their pressure in the Islanders offensive zone. Nassau Coliseum transformed from a lethargic first and second period atmosphere to boisterous third period cheering crowd. The crowd’s energy positively matched the energy of the motivated and unwavering Islanders team. Tavares practically took his team on his back for the remainder of the third period. Although the effort was eventually stalled by the officiating in a 5-3 loss, the tenacity of John Tavares proved to be infectious to his team. He refused to give up and had set an example for his team. He even convinced the fans that a comeback was possible.

John Tavares kept the fire in his heart while extinguishing the Calgary Flames opposition on Dec. 29. Tavares tallied an assist on a goal that tied the game at one goal apiece in the second period. In the third period, John Tavares skated with the puck through all three zones and around the Calgary defense to stun Flames netminder Miikka Kiprusoff with a highlight-reel-worthy coast-to-coast goal. Tavares’ twelfth goal of the season proved to be the game-winner, giving the Islanders their first lead of the night. The New York Islanders ultimately celebrated a 3-1 victory over the Calgary Flames in which John Tavares was named the first star of the game.

For the second consecutive game, John Tavares effortlessly displayed his outstanding playmaking ability. After scoring the first goal of the game, Tavares created the second scoring opportunity. Tavares glided through two Oilers defenseman and made a spin-o-rama pass to his linemate Matt Moulson, who then netted the game-winning goal at 17:55 in the first period. Tavares briefly left the game in the second period, after a late hit from Oilers defenseman Andy Sutton, and was greeted with applause from the Nassau Coliseum crowd as he skated onto the ice in his return. The response of the crowd illustrates just how much he means to the Islanders franchise. He was also given the same reaction as he was deservingly awarded the first star of the game for the second game in a row. In addition, the New York Islanders defeated the Edmonton Oilers by a score of 4-1.

The New York Islanders won their third consecutive game on Tuesday night against the Carolina Hurricanes in a 4-3 shootout victory at the RBC Center. The win was virtually willed by John Tavares, who assisted on all three Islanders regulation goals. He was named the first star for the third consecutive game and has seven points (2 G, 5 A) in this three-game span.

Through 37 games, John Tavares leads his New York Islanders team with 34 points (13 G, 21 A). John Tavares is also adding leadership qualities off the score sheet. His determination on the ice is transferable to his team and every scoring opportunity and chance he creates is impressive. Tavares is noticeably emerging as a star in the NHL.

John Tavares deserves to wear a "C" on his chest as he matures within the next few years. He already embodies the qualities of a leader and represents that "A" very well. Most of all, aside from his individual success, John Tavares is putting his team on his back and taking his team with him on the road to victory.

Vote for John Tavares, as well as your favorite NHL players to appear in the 2012 All-Star game: here.


picture courtesy of tumblr.com

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

A recent history of Super Bowl injury hullabaloo

DeflateGate football could fetch $50K at auction

Father and son allegedly attack coach over playing time

The AFC North will regress in 2015

Doug Baldwin bringing 'sunblock' to Revis Island

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Will the first-round running back return in 2015?

Robert Kraft: Richard Sherman is a 'marketing whiz'

Rob Gronkowski's party bus headed to Super Bowl

Matt Barnes not happy with NBA for $25,000 fine

Brandon Browner: 'No hard feelings' with Sherman, Thomas

Gronk reads erotica, sings Katy Perry at SB Media Day

Keys to victory for the Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX

Grandpa: Marshawn would retire rather than deal with media

Ten best teams that didn't make the Super Bowl

Ranking the NBA’s Coach of the Year candidates

WATCH: Zach Parise picks up his tooth off the ice

Crosby's name misspelled as 'Sindey' on Penguins program

Joe Biden blows off Olivia Munn to talk to Aaron Rodgers

James Shields need to adjust his contract expectations

Kurt Warner wonders about Patriots cheating in Super Bowl

4-star QB recruit decommits from Michigan

Top storylines for Super Bowl XLIX

WATCH: Pacquiao, Mayweather meet at halftime of Heat game

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Seahawks' keys to Super Bowl victory

DeflateGate ball could fetch $50K

Doug Baldwin ready for Revis Island

Top storylines for Super Bowl XLIX

Barnes unhappy with NBA over fine

Does MLB need more offense in the modern game?

Re-ranking the Top 25: exposing the biggest flaws

Putting the Cavs’ pieces together

Super Bowl XLIX: Key people to know

Ranking all 48 Super Bowls

Bill Simmons fires a shot at Ray Lewis

NFL pushing CFP to change schedule

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.