Phenom even more driven

RYAN PYETTE -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:03 AM ET

The entire Ontario Hockey League will have to contend with a very driven John Tavares this year.

The reigning league MVP hopes to lead Oshawa to the Memorial Cup after his Generals and the city's new GM Centre were passed over for tournament hosting duties this season in favour of Kitchener.

"It sucks," the 16-year-old said yesterday while taking part in his agent-led Siskinds Sports Management summer camp yesterday at the Western Fair Sports Centre. "We gave it a shot but there's nothing you can do about it now but try to get in the old way and that's to win the league championship."

If that isn't motivation enough, Tavares wants to prove to the NHL he's worthy of being eligible for the 2008 entry draft, show the Canadian world junior hockey team they were wrong to cut him last year and improve on the 72 goals he scored to break Wayne Gretzky's OHL record for a 16-year-old skater.

While in London this week, he wasn't too worried about running into his old Toronto Marlies midget pal Sam Gagner because he sees him all the time at the rink or whenever he turns on the TV. Gagner, the sixth pick overall by the Edmonton Oilers this summer, has been visible in a currently airing Nike commercial featuring players training in preparation to play for Canada at the world junior tournament.

The Siskinds group, still in the running to represent NHL first overall pick Pat Kane of the London Knights, organized the camp to bring the agency's clients together and pass on some fundamentals about making hockey's next step.

Forwards Nazem Kadri and Adam Zamec, who play for Memorial Cup-hosting Kitchener, London Knight Matt Ashman, Jamie Commerford, Robbie Flick, Josh Sidwell, Matt Hackett and James Marsden were among the local and area skaters in the group.

Belleville's Bryan Cameron, drafted by the Los Angeles Kings, made it to London in between a late flight from the team's West Coast development camp and having to get his wisdom teeth removed.

"It was a great experience at Kings camp and I learned a lot -- (Knights forward David) Meckler was there and did a great job on the ice but he was also in tremendous shape for all the off-ice stuff," he reported. "I'm going to bring what I learned back to Belleville and hopefully have a good year (with the Bulls). We made it to the (OHL) semifinals last year (after beating Tavares' Generals) and had a chance against Sudbury but we lost a lot in overtime, which was disappointing, and took too many penalties."


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