Helping Tavares take the next step
John Tavares can score, but to be elite, he needs someone to get him the puck
Plugging Holes - New York Islanders
The Hole: Tavares' present and future linemates
John Tavares may be the king of garbage goals. A lot of players can make a solid NHL career out of having the nose to get to the puck around the net, but it's fair to say that much more was expected of the first overall pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft than merely tapping in a bunch of easy goals at the back post.
Not surprisingly, teams learned to defend against what was a one trick pony. After scoring 15 goals in the Islanders' first 31 games, Tavares managed only nine in the remaining 51 games.
While the onus is on the 19-year-old to strengthen himself physically -- and to diversify his game -- the Islanders' immediate need is to help the youngster by pairing him with a skilled passer to assist his still limited game.
To get the fix, the stats and E.J. Hradek's perspective on the suggested move, you must be an ESPN Insider. Sign up today to get access to free agent rumors, draft news and more.
MORE NHL HEADLINES
- Bruins' Bartkowski gets game misconduct for hit
- Canucks' Hansen expected to be OK after hit
- Pouliot scores in debut as Pens top Panthers
- Isles rally late, tally 3 in 3rd to stun Lightning
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
2010 NHL Offseason Central on Insider
PLUGGING THE HOLES
Mixing new-school stats with old-school savvy, Insider identifies every team's biggest weakness and how each should address it this summer through the draft, trades or free agency.
Get up to speed on the stars of tomorrow in preparation for the June 25 draft.
Keep tabs on the cream of the free agent crop with Insider's updated hot sheets.
You can also keep up with all the offseason buzz at Rumor Central.