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09/26/10 at 12:13?
the No. 1 selection in the 2009 Entry Draft -- when the Islanders broke for training camp last September and immediately developed a friendship.

In fact, Tavares moved into Weight's home when the team returned to Long Island. He stayed there for about two (...) mavericks jerseys[url], sort of.

"We roomed in camp when we went to Saskatoon," Weight told . "From (...) orleans hornets jerseys[url], we hit it off real well. He came into my house with me for about eight weeks. He was comfortable with it, my wife was comfortable with it and the kids loved it. It was working out well and there's a little guest house on our property that ended up opening up. Him and Matt Moulson moved in (...) york giants jerseys[url], 50 yards from my front door. He gets his own driveway and his own mailbox.

"Whenever he wants to come over, he pops in. I think it's good for a guy like John, especially the amount of pressure with being the first overall pick. The one piece of advice I gave him in the summer was you come in shape and you come quiet. He did that."

He certainly (...) canadiens jerseys[url], as Tavares had 10 goals by the first week of December to help keep the Isles in playoff contention. The Mississauga, Ont., native has relished the opportunity to learn from Weight on and off the ice this season.

"He's been great since I was drafted," Tavares said. "I live 20 feet from him. All (...) england patriots jerseys[url], he's been there for me whenever I've needed him."

Weight and Tavares met before the latter was even drafted by the Islanders. After winning the draft lottery in (...) jerseys[url], Isles GM Garth Snow spent the next two months meeting and scouting top prospects. With Tavares scheduled to visit Long Island, Snow arranged for Weight and the teenager to have breakfast. It was the start of what appears to be a long friendship.
"I got to meet a lot of people in the organization and I got to see the rink and a little bit of Long Island," Tavares said. "I had breakfast with Doug Weight. It was a good experience for me and a good opportunity to check out Long Island and get to know Garth a little (...) penguins jerseys[url], and (Isles owner) Mr. (Charles) Wang. I had a good time."

Tavares entered the real world that (...) louis cardinals jerseys[url], when the Islanders grabbed him with the first pick in the draft. After a record-setting junior career that saw him score 215 (...) marlins jerseys[url], he headed for Long Island with tremendous expectations. On top of that, he'd deal with things off the ice he never had faced before. That's where Weight came in.

"I remember being 20 years old in New York," Weight said. "You have (...) bay buccaneers jerseys[url], and you're writing checks for the first time. You get in these habits where you're eating wrong. I'm glad that we can be a part of that. He doesn't have to worry about everything else. He's got some people in his life helping him and he can focus on the hockey side of it."

The second half of the season hasn't been kind to Tavares, as he was held without a goal for the final 14 games before the Olympic break. Since the calendar changed to 2010, Tavares has scored only once. It's times such as these where the rookie can turn to Weight for advice.

"The constant reminder is it's a long season," Weight said. "It's a different type of strength up here. The speed and strength at the NHL level is that every kid coming in notices, including myself 20 years ago. The great thing about John is he's an intelligent kid and he knows that's what's happening. He's hard on himself and he expects a lot from himself every day. He wants to be the best player on the ice every night, but he knows he's going to get stronger. What you have to remember is he is 19. I try to keep him loose. He won't even remember his first year."

Considering how much Weight has done for Tavares, that's a little hard to believe, just as it's hard to believe how well the latter has carried himself despite being six months shy of his 20th birthday.

"He's a huge piece of this franchise," Weight said. "Amazingly, he's handled everything like a champ."