Hockey

Teen phenom Tavares named OHL's best

John Tavares of the Oshawa Generals was rewarded for his record-breaking season Wednesday when he was named the Ontario Hockey League's outstanding player of the year.

John Tavares of the Oshawa Generals was rewarded for his record-breaking season Wednesday when he was named the Ontario Hockey League's outstanding player of the year.

Tavares, 16, is the youngest to win the Red Tilson Trophy. The Oakville, Ont., native led the league with 72 goals and finished with 134 points, second in the OHL behind Patrick Kane of the London Knights.

In March, Tavares broke the record for most goals by a 16-year-old. Wayne Gretzky tallied 70 goals in 1977-78 for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.

Gretzky was beat out in the voting for the Tilson that year by Bobby Smith.

Tavares enjoyed a 57-point jump from his first season, for which he was named both the OHL and Canadian Hockey League's rookie of the year.

Oshawa drafted Tavares first overall when he was just 14 after the league granted him exceptional underage player status.

Kane, an 18-year-old from Buffalo, N.Y., was named last week as this season's OHL rookie of the year.

While Kane is expected to be selected early in the June entry draft, Tavares won't be eligible until 2009.

Tavares joins Eric Lindros, Rick Middleton, Scott McCrory and Bob Attersley on the list of Generals who won the award.

The award is named after the former Oshawa player who led the league in scoring in 1942-43 but was killed in Europe while serving in World War II.

It is voted on by writers and broadcasters.

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