Tavares to push for 2008 draft
The agents for hockey phenom John Tavares still want their client declared eligible for next year’s NHL entry draft.
London’s Brian MacDonald, a former Colorado Avalanche assistant GM, said the Siskinds Sports Management (SSM) team will forge ahead despite the NHL declaring that the 16-year-old Oshawa Generals scoring star must wait until 2009 to be selected by a big league team.
This is a tough one to weigh in on: On one hand, I can see why the NHL has these guidelines and why they want to avoid having 17-year-old players showing up for training camps in the fall. At some point, there have to be limits.
Still, if you're John Tavares, four years with the Generals is too long to spend dominating the competition. He might be only sixteen years old (!), but Tavares is already the best player in major junior hockey. He had 72 goals and 134 points in 67 OHL games last season, and did so with a pretty mediocre Oshawa team.
At the very least, Tavares should be eligible to play professional hockey somewhere when he finishes high school. It makes little sense that lesser players born in the first three-quarters of the year, Tavares's peers, can move onto the next level while he's trapped on small stage of the Canadian junior league.
My guess is he's looking forward to finally showcasing his world-class skills for a wide audience at the world juniors this December in the Czech Republic (not to mention the Canada-Russia series this summer).
The vast majority of the hockey world hasn't yet seen just what he's capable of.
- Lowetide has more thoughts over at his blog