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Tavares Welcomes Newest Islander

Friday, 06.25.2010 / 11:47 PM / News
By Jesse D. Eisenberg
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Tavares Welcomes Newest Islander

Just one year removed from hearing Islanders General Manager Garth Snow call his name as the first overall selection in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, forward John Tavares stood on the floor of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum alongside thousands of fans at the Islanders 2010 Draft Party, anxiously eyeing the scoreboard’s live feed of this year’s event.

When Nino Niederreiter became the Islanders’ first round selection, fifth overall, in Friday’s 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Tavares had nothing but praise for his future teammate.

“Garth and our scouting staff have done their homework and believe this guy is going to be a great player for us,” said Tavares. “I know he had a great World Junior and I'm excited about that and what he did on the big stage. He was at the world championships as well.”

It would have been a tall order for the Islanders faithful to match their ovation from last year when Tavares’ name was called, but the 19 year old was excited to experience this year’s celebration first hand.

“I thought it was great. I think all the fans were excited about our pick. They may not know much about Nino or hear about him as much as maybe some of the other guys because he is European, but like I said he had a great World Juniors as an underage player, and represented Switzerland at the World Championship, which isn't an easy thing to do at his age. He had a good season in the WHL and has proven he is a big guy who can make things happen out there. Size is something that we need up front, and he is going to bring it to our hockey club with a lot of skill.”

Moments after expressing his excitement, Tavares had his first chance to chat on the phone with the newest member of the Islanders.

His advice to the seventeen year old was simple.
 
“Just rest up,” he explained to reporters. “Just make sure you get in the best shape you can for the season and prepare yourself the best you can.”

“He is going to lean on a lot of guys that have been here for a while and that's what I did this year, so maybe just don't be shy and ask a lot of questions and if you need help, everyone is here to help. We all have the same goal, wanting to win the championship and raise the Cup over our head, so don't be shy and come in with a lot of confidence.”

One player Tavares expects Niederreiter to lean on is Swiss countryman Mark Streit.

I think having a guy like Mark Streit from the same homeland, it's going to be huge for him to bring him in and really learn what it's like in the NHL and on the Island and kind of help him find his way.”

Tavares knows a thing or two about the expectations that come with being a high draft pick, and he’s confident that Niederreiter will be able to handle the pressure.

“With Nino, there are obviously a lot of expectations. A lot of that comes with (being a high draft pick), but guys like him have been trained for this and have prepared for it.”

“Come into camp with a great attitude. Come humble, but always be open to the guys. They are always looking to help and want to make you feel comfortable and help you make the adjustment.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 TBL 48 30 14 4 156 127 64
2 NYI 46 31 14 1 151 129 63
3 DET 47 27 11 9 139 119 63
4 MTL 45 29 13 3 123 106 61
5 PIT 46 26 12 8 138 117 60
6 NYR 44 27 13 4 134 106 58
7 WSH 46 24 13 9 137 120 57
8 BOS 48 25 16 7 126 121 57
9 FLA 44 20 14 10 107 122 50
10 OTT 46 19 18 9 126 128 47
11 TOR 48 22 23 3 142 150 47
12 PHI 48 19 22 7 130 146 45
13 CBJ 45 20 22 3 113 142 43
14 NJD 47 17 22 8 107 134 42
15 CAR 46 16 25 5 98 120 37
16 BUF 47 14 30 3 89 167 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 46 21 24 -2 45
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 46 8 25 16 33
B. Nelson 46 15 15 6 30
F. Nielsen 46 9 16 4 25
J. Boychuk 36 4 18 15 22
J. Bailey 34 8 13 8 21
N. Leddy 46 7 14 15 21
N. Kulemin 46 11 9 1 20
A. Lee 40 13 5 7 18
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 25 9 0 .910 2.41
C. Johnson 6 5 0 .870 3.38

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