"It's pretty special," said Tavares. "You understand the responsibility, but at the same time, I don't think too much will change. I'm not going to try and force anything.”
The Islanders selected Tavares with the first overall pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. Last season, the forward led the Isles in scoring with 47 points in 48 games.
"He's always trying to take his game to the next level, and that gets contagious in a locker room," said Islanders general manager Garth Snow. "He's a perfect captain for our team and we're looking forward to getting the season started.”
Tavares, who will turn 23 on Sept. 20, becomes the second youngest captain in the NHL behind Gabriel Landeskog of the Colorado Avalanche (20). He served as an assistant captain last season for the Isles.