2006-07: Tavares broke out this season, nearly doubling his production from last year. In his sophomore season with the Oshawa Generals (OHL), the center netted 72 goals and added 62 assists for a total of 134 points in 67 games. Compare this to the 77 points he recorded last season and he truly improved his numbers. He was nominated CHL and OHL Player of the Year and was a member of Team Canada for the 2007 Canada/Russia Super Series.
2007-08: Tavares continued his OHL career with Oshawa, having another stellar season. In 59 games with the Generals, he recorded 118 points (40g+78a). He was a gold medal winner at the IIHF World Junior Championships where he represented Team Canada.
2008-09: The talented center split the season between Oshawa and London, putting up incredible numbers with both squads. He finished the season with 58 goals and 104 points in just 56 games. He netted another 10 goals and 21 points in 14 postseason games. Registered an assist for the West at the OHL All-Star Classic. Was this season's top scorer in the regular season, finishing ten points above the next closest candidate, Plymouth's Chris Terry. He was also the OHL's top goal scorer, netting 58 goals in 56 games. Tavares was the MVP of the 2009 World Junior Championships (U-20), leading the Canadian squad to a fifth straight gold medal in that tournament. Tavares also appeared in the 2009 Top Prospects Game, where he suffered a shoulder injury that was still bothersome at the time of the NHL Draft Combine. Tavares likely has finished his OHL career as the all-time leading goal-scorer in that league's history.
Tavares is a top-flight talent, perhaps not in the same class as a Sidney Crosby or Alex Ovechkin, but still a player you can build around. Yes, Tavares is not the fastest skater on the ice; yes, his defense -- while improving -- remains passable at best. But what can't be denied is Tavares' incredible hockey sense and offensive ability. Additionally, he showed some grit in playing effectively through an injured shoulder for the second half of the 2008-09 season. For a team searching for pure offensive ability, Tavares is a sure-fire bet in this year's draft.