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John Tavares

Profession: Hokey player
Age: 24
Birth date: 20. 09. 1990
Birth place: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Sign: Virgin   


John Tavares is a Canadian professional ice hockey centre currently playing 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.

Tavares has represented Canada at three International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) sanctioned events, winning gold medals at the 2008 and 2009 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships. He was named the most valuable player of the 2009 tournament after scoring eight goals and fifteen points in six games. He also participated in the 2006 IIHF World U18 Championships, but failed to medal. Additionally, Tavares represented Canada at the 2006 World U-17 Hockey Challenge and 2007 Super Series.

Personal life
Tavares was born on September 20, 1990 in Mississauga, Ontario, to Barbara and Joe Tavares, who are of Polish and Portuguese descent, respectively. His maternal grandparents Bolesław and Josephine Kowal immigrated from Poland to Sudbury, Ontario, and his paternal grandparents Manuel and Dorotea Tavares immigrated from Portugal to Toronto, Ontario. At a young age, Tavares moved to Oakville, Ontario. This is where he was first exposed to minor hockey via the Minor Oaks Hockey Association.Tavares also played soccer and lacrosse, and his highly competitive nature often led him to fight with other players.Tavares excelled at lacrosse, following in the footsteps of his uncle John Tavares, the all-time scoring leader in the National Lacrosse League (NLL), and was a ball boy for his uncle's NLL team, the Buffalo Bandits. The younger Tavares credits his uncle with teaching him the importance of remaining unselfish, stating that what he learned by following his uncle with the Bandits has made him better both as a person and a hockey player. Many skills he learned in lacrosse—such as spinning off checks and battling in traffic—transferred to ice hockey and improved Tavares' abilities as a goal scorer.

In Oakville, Tavares attended St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Secondary School. He lived five minutes from Sam Gagner, who later signed a contract with the Edmonton Oilers, and the two quickly established a friendship. Gagner's father, former National Hockey League (NHL) player Dave Gagner, built a backyard ice rink on which Tavares spent much of his time honing ice hockey skills. In the OHL, Tavares placed an emphasis on his education, earning honours as well as the Oshawa Generals' Scholastic Player of the Year in 2007–08. Tavares also spends some of his time working with the Special Olympics.

This biography was taken from Wikipedia
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