The Oshawa Generals of the OHL have announced that they will be retiring Tavares' no. 91 at their home-opener, on Sept. 28th.
Tavares, who had 383 points in 223 games with the team, will be the fourth name to be retired by the organization. The others? Eric Lindros, Bobby Orr, and Red Tilson, not too shabby if you ask me.
JT gained exceptional status [1 of only 4 to do so], allowing him to be drafted a full year before otherwise being eligible, at the age of 14. Oshawa held the first overall pick in the 2005 draft, and like any right-minded organization, selected Tavares. Making him the youngest player to ever be drafted into the OHL.
He spent the first 3 and a half years with the Generals before being traded to the London Knights for the remainder of his 4th and final season in Major Juniors.
"On behalf of ownership, we are extremely excited and proud to honor John with the highest honor in hockey by retiring his jersey in Oshawa. John is a special player on the ice and always a gentleman off the ice, conducting himself in a first-class manner and representing the Oshawa Generals with the utmost respect.... John will become the youngest player in OHL history to have his jersey number retired. John has remained a close friend over the years and as an owner and friend, I couldn't be happier for John and our organization."
- Generals owner, Rocco Tullio
"To be up there with the three other guys that are there … it's hard to really believe it," Tavares stated upon hearing the news. "It's something I'll be pinching myself about for a long time. I really appreciate that people believe that I am a part of such a great history like that."
Classy as always, Tavares continues to make a case for him being an elite player.
To, one, gain exceptional status at the age of 14, something only players like Connor McDavid, Sean Day, and Aaron Ekblad have earned, says something about JT. But to then receive the honor of having your jersey retired by a team whom has only retired names like Lindros and Orr? Incredible.
I don't have to sit here and tell you how good Tavares is because it is a known fact at this point, but we can chalk this up as yet another major accomplishment for the 23-year old Tavares..
PS - Here's to blogging about the Islanders retiring his number somewhere down the road.