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Oakville's John Tavares to play 1,000th career NHL game on Sunday

Steven Ellis/Daily Faceoff
Steven Ellis/Daily Faceoff

The St.Thomas Aquinas grad John Tavares plays his 1,000th NHL game on Sunday, Jan. 29, where he receives the coveted silver stick as the Toronto Maple Leafs take on the Washington Capitals at Scotia Bank Arena in Toronto. The puck drops at 5:00 pm.

It’s been a wild ride for Tavares in the NHL. His career started in 2009 when he was drafted first overall by the New York Islanders and became the face of their franchise.

John quickly became the star that the Islanders were promised in his rookie season. He scored 54 points in 82 games for New York and started to turn their franchise around. He spent nine seasons on Long Island and became the team's captain in September 2013.

Tavares led the Islanders to many successful seasons making multiple playoffs and even winning a round in the 2016 playoff - the Islanders' first series win since 1993.

But in the summer of 2018, Tavares became an unrestricted free agent and chose to sign with his childhood team - the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Tavares joined the Leafs on a record-breaking day when he became the highest-paid free agent in league history and signed a seven-year, $77 million contract to play with the Leafs.

In Tavares’ first year with the Leafs, he played spectacularly. Scoring a personal record of 47 goals and 88 points, John fit in his new home.

Tavares was named team captain the following season and still holds that honour.

Over his career, Tavares accumulated 412 goals, 532 assists, and 944 points. Only 56 points away from the remarkable 1,000 points mark.

Along with his NHL achievements, Tavares has also represented Canada internationally. He won two gold Medals at the World Junior Hockey Championship, an Olympic gold Medal at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics and a  2016 World Cup of Hockey Gold Medal.

John has a lot more hockey left in him and, hopefully, will pass 1,000 games by a wide margin.