New York Islanders captain John Tavares was named as Best Player of the World by ESPN, at least for the week.
The Best Player of the World of the Week is a new category by the sport network giant, which honors hockey players around the world for their performance during the previous week.
There were eight names on the list, including Miye D’Oench of the New York Riveters; Jason Grande of Amarillo Bulls; Ilya Kovalchuk of St. Petersburg SKA; Griffin Loughran of Fargo Force; Aaron Luchuk of Windsor Spitfires; Dylan Strome of Tucson Roadrunners; and of course, Tavares.
The competition was stiff for the former no. 1 pick. For instance, Luchuk scored nine points and two hat tricks in three games. Grande, just 18 years old, shut out 66 shots from Corpus Christi skaters last weekend. Loughran, on the other hand, scored seven points in just two games including a hat trick and three dimes in the win against Des Moines.
Meanwhile, Kovalchuk added another chapter to his legendary career after scoring three goals and four assists. In 28 games just this season, he already had 20 goals.
As to why Tavares won, ESPN said, “It’s hard to beat two hat tricks in the same week. In fact, with his three goals against the Nashville Predators, Tavares became the third player in team history to record two tricks in three games.”
The last time that feat was achieved was by Ziggy Palffy 20 years ago.
According to the New York Post, the Islanders are rolling right now after giving away just one game in the last six. Tavares credited the team’s hard work and a lot of luck for the Islanders’ fortunes. “I think we’re just getting rewarded a little bit,” he said.
Over the last five games, Tavares already scored nine goals.