09/14/2011 04:11 EDT | Updated 11/14/2011 05:12 EST

Tavares expected to sign new contract Thursday

The New York Islanders said they will be making an announcement regarding the future of John Tavares on Thursday afternoon.

Speculation ramped up Tuesday that the Isles and Tavares were working on a long-term contract extension. The former top NHL draft pick is entering the final season of his entry-level contract, which pays $900,000 US.

Tavares led the Islanders in assists (38), points (67) and power-play points (24) in 2010-11, his sophomore pro campaign.

It was a five-goal and 13-point improvement over his rookie season, when he led the Islanders in scoring with 54 points.

Tavares, who turns 21 next week, was selected first overall after an Ontario Hockey League career in which he racked up 215 goals and 218 assists in 247 games with Oshawa and London. The Mississauga, Ont., native was granted a exemption to enter the OHL as a 15-year-old.