John Tavares has been the face of the New York Islanders since being drafted first overall in 2009.
Now, he’s the team’s leader as well.
The Islanders named Tavares as the 14th captain in franchise history on Monday, making him one of the youngest players to ever wear the “C” in the process.
“I want to say, it’s kind of hard to believe,” Tavares said at Monday’s presser. “Four great years have gone by. I’m excited about our opportunity this coming year.
“I take this with great responsibility. It’s not an easy thing but I don’t think too much will change — the goal remains the same.”
The move also makes the 22-year-old Tavares the second-youngest captain in the NHL, behind Colorado’s Gabriel Landeskog (20).
Tavares led the Isles with 47 points in 48 games last season and earned his first-ever Hart Trophy nomination for league MVP.
He’s the club’s most talented player and has served as an alternate captain, so no real surprise the organization feels he’s ready to wear the “C.” Tavares also signed a long-term pact with the Isles in 2011, agreeing to a six-year, $33 million extension that goes through 2018.
The move to such a young captain is a significant one from New York. Tavares inherits the “C” from Mark Streit, who was 34 at the time of his appointment; prior to Streit it was 38-year-old Doug Weight and prior to Weight, it was 37-year-old Bill Guerin.