NHL draft: Islanders take Tavares No. 1 overall
MONTREAL (AP) – The New York Islanders have selected London Knights center John Tavares with the No. 1 pick in the 2009 NHL entry draft.
The Islanders chose Tavares, a high-scoring junior star, with the first overall pick ahead of 6-foot-6, 220-pound Swedish defenseman Victor Hedman, the top-ranked European prospect.
The Tampa Bay Lightnng took Hedman and the Colorado Avalanche followed with forward Matt Duchene, the first three selection going as expected.
Tavares, a 6-foot, 185-pound native of Oakville, Ont., led the Ontario Hockey League with 58 goals this season and broke Peter Lee’s 33-year-old league record of 213 career goals.
Islanders GM Garth Snow kept the team’s draft intentions a closely guarded secret right until he announced Tavares’ name to the Bell Centre crowd as the team’s fourth No. 1 pick overall in draft history, and the first since they made Rick DiPietro the first goalie selected first overall in 2000.
The expansion Islanders chose Billy Harris No. 1 overall in 1972 and followed that up one year later by selecting Denis Potvin, a Hall of Fame defenseman who captained the team to four straight Stanley Cups from 1979-80 to 1982-83.