John Tavares is a Canadian professional ice hockey Centre who currently serves as the captain of 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 was born on September 20, 1990 in Mississauga, Ontario, to Barbara and Joe Tavares, who are of Polish and Portuguese descent, respectively.
Tavares has represented Canada at five International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF)-sanctioned events, including the 2010 and 2011 World Championships. At the under-20 level, he won 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 15 points in six games. He also participated in the 2006 IIHF World U18 Championships, but failed to medal. Additionally, Tavares represented Team Ontario at the 2006 World U-17 Hockey Challenge and 2007 Super Series. On January 7, 2014, he was named to the 2014 Canadian Olympic Hockey Team, winning a gold medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics despite an injury preventing him from participating in the nation’s final two games.