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Mr. John Tavares

Doctor of Laws, honoris causa

John TavaresFor his outstanding work as a Canadian athlete, his dedication as a role model to aspiring young athletes, and for inspiring the next generation to build a better world for themselves and future generations, the university proudly confers upon Mr. John Tavares the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.

Mr. Tavares is a distinguished National Hockey League (NHL) star, currently the captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs, and the former captain of the New York Islanders.

Mr. Tavares was a prolific junior hockey player, primarily with the Oshawa Generals and finishing up with the London Knights. To this day, he remains the Ontario Hockey League’s (OHL) career goals leader with 215, a record that has yet to be seriously threatened.

Mr. Tavares showed such promise on the ice as a youngster, that he was already playing with older players at the age of seven. He developed so quickly, he requested to be made eligible for the 2005 OHL Entry Draft at the age of 14, a full year earlier than normal. The league initiated an ‘exceptional player’ clause and he was drafted first overall by Oshawa. After his second season (2006-2007), he was named OHL and Canadian Hockey League Player of the Year. The next season he was named the Generals’ Scholastic Player of the Year.

With a birthdate of September 20, Mr. Tavares was born five days after the cutoff date for the 2008 NHL Entry Draft and would have to wait a year to turn professional. In the 2009 Draft he was selected first overall by the Islanders. After nine years in New York, Mr. Tavares opted to sign as a free agent with the Maple Leafs in 2018.

Mr. Tavares launched the John Tavares Foundation in 2020, which is committed to inspiring the next generation to build a better world for themselves and the generations that follow. He also spends some of his time working with the Special Olympics.