This is my first post so bear with me till I get this all figured out.
An independent scouting body recently placed J. Tavares third on their list of top available junior players for the upcoming NHL draft. They felt that due to his relatively poor post-season play this year, that he had lost some of his game, thus dropping him below V. Hedman and M. Duchene in their rankings.
Is J. Tavares really #3? Is he even top 5 material? Yes he is a points machine, as 433 points in 247 games clearly indicates, but that doesn't mean everything. His scating is poor, he plays a small game, and relies more on being more skilled than his opponents in order to score. None of these traits will do him well in the NHL where he will undoubtably be playing next year.
He ought to develop into a point per game player in the NHL, as he certainly has the talent and offensive awareness to put up those types of numbers, but is his game at such a level to warrant #1 status? At the time of the London Knights being eliminated, he was 11th in the OHL for scoring, and 4th on his team. To go by the way some TSN analysts gush over him, you'd think that he is set to become the second coming of J. Jagr. For all intents and purposes, JT's current game revolves around him being a talent level (or 2) above his competitors, and there hasn't been any indications, to date, of his desire to be anything other than the next J. Spezza.
And that wasn't meant as a compliment.
That being said, it is impossible to accurately predict an 18 year-olds career path off his junior numbers. It is possible that JT is the next rookie phenom to shake the NHL by it's tail, but I still can't rationalize taking him first overall in June, then again, that job belongs to G. Snow.
Thnx for reading.