John Tavares is good.
Top-25 good even. (And constantly determined to get better.)
We hope you agree.
How We Voted
Well, that was even easier than the Travis Hamonic vote.
Nobody tell Neil Greenberg. (Back story: Greenberg's exclusion of Tavares from his NHL-wide 25U25 list in favor of ... some names I forget ... drew instant scorn from Isles-tinted lenses, including Howie Rose on air. His logic was dissected and desecrated, and Greenberg was a great sport about it, explaining and defending his choice in comments here and with a follow-up -- so now the "Tavares at 26" meme shall live on.)
Both pre- and post-Greenberg (note: lest there be confusion, Greenberg is still living and doing fine), Tavares had another fantastic year. His best yet, as well he should as he matures. His 2011-12 season included a tear that helped his linemates to career years and made him the NHL's first star of January.
He is 21 now. Odds are he's going to top this list for the next four years. We're going to have to come up with new ways to unveil the obvious.
Anyone Can Convert These Passes
One of Tavares' wingmen in P.A. Parenteau is gone now, allowed to flee to Colorado...
...but somehow we think Tavares will be just fine:
No really! He's going to be okay:
This concludes our spring 2012 Top 25U25 countdown, with our ballots tallied in May (so before the 2012 draft). We'll do it again in the fall, bumping old man Grabner off the list of eligibility and adding...about seven defensemen to the list of candidates.
Thanks to all who voted, shared your rankings in comments or with JP (see below), and generally made this a fun exercise.
Related Links You'll See with Each 25U25 Post
May 2012 25U25 Panelists: CanadianIslesLifer making a return appearance, as well as most of the authors at LHH.
Note: For those LHH readers who sent their own selections in, JPinVA has them summarized in this FanPost. That one will be fun to measure against our panelists' results.
You can see which other prospects just missed our top 25 in this preview post.
To reflect the variety of ways you can place value on prospects with uncertain futures, we brought a range of philosophies to this poll, which ranks all Islanders (prospect or pro) under age 25: Some voters valued present talent/maturity more, some valued future potential more. All are averaged with the intent of capturing a moment in time in the evolution of the Islanders prospect pipeline.