John Tavares Is MVP Worthy
It was only three years ago that John Tavares scored 24 goals in 82 games in his rookie season for the New York Islanders. He finished the year with 54 points and gave Isles fans confirmation that they were witnessing a star starting to bloom in an orange and blue jersey (Photo credit: theseoduke/Flickr).
Here we are in his fourth NHL season and Tavares just might have already surpassed every Islanders' fans wildest dreams.
In only 44 games, Tavares has scored 26 goals, 19 assists and 45 points. Just think about that for a second - he has more goals than his rookie season in almost half the amount of time.
This play from the 22-year old has allowed him to enter NHL MVP talks for the Hart Memorial Trophy at the end of the year.
He has hands down been the most valuable member of the New York Islanders; a true leader on and off the ice whose stats define what it means to be an elite player in the best hockey league in the world. He has carried the weight of this team on his shoulders since the day he was drafted and continues to improve with the more hockey he plays.
Keep in mind that Tavares has done this without someone like P.A. Parenteau, who had 67 points last season on a line with JT and Moulson. Brad Boyes has been a nice fit on the top line, but he hasn't been able to replace the chemistry last year's trio brought to the ice each night.
Tavares' ability to lift his play to another level without the same support he was given during his most successful season (31-50-81 in 2012) speaks volumes about the type of player he has become.
It was only a matter of time before he became recognized around the rest of the league as one of the greatest players in the NHL.
Last night, former NHL coach and current analyst Barry Melrose was showing the Islanders some love on Twitter, which is not something you see very often from guys like him.
You have to love the Islanders. If I had a vote I'd vote for Tavares for the MVP of the league. He has been great all year
— Barry Melrose (@NHLBarryMelrose) April 19, 2013
This team is the real deal and they are being led by one of the best superstars in the game.
And just to think, there is still time for Tavares to surpass his career high of 31 goals in the remaining four games of the shortened 48-game season. Just imagine the amount of damage he would do if there wasn't a lockout to delay the season.
Time will tell, but there is a very good chance that the number one center for the New York Islanders will be bringing home some hardware at year's end.