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Joe Thornton
Joe Thornton 2016.jpg
Thornton warming up in 2016
Born July 2, 1979 (1979-07-02) (age 42)
St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada
Height 6 ft 4 in (193 cm)
Weight 220 lb (100 kg; 15 st 10 lb)
Position Center
Shoots Left
NHL team
Former teams
San Jose Sharks
Boston Bruins
HC Davos
National team Flag of Canada.svg Canada
NHL Draft 1st overall, 1997
Boston Bruins
Playing career 1997–present

Joseph Eric Thornton (born July 2, 1979) is a Canadian professional ice hockey centre and an alternate captain for the San Jose Sharks of the National Hockey League (NHL). He was selected first overall by the Boston Bruins in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft and went on to play seven seasons with the club, three as its captain.

During the 2005–06 season, he was traded to the Sharks. Splitting the campaign between the two teams, he received the Art Ross and Hart Memorial Trophies as the league's leading point-scorer and most valuable player, respectively.

Thornton's on-ice vision, strength on the puck, deft passing ability and power forward style of play have led to him becoming one of the league's premier top line centres. Listed at 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds, he has received the nickname Jumbo Joe.

Amateur career

Joe Thornton 2007
Joe Thornton 2007

Thornton grew up playing minor hockey in his hometown of St. Thomas, Ontario, for the St. Thomas Travelers. He played "AA" hockey for the Travelers and in peewee won an Ontario Minor Hockey Association (OMHA) championship in 1992–93.

During his bantam year, he appeared in six games for the Junior B St. Thomas Stars of the Ontario Hockey Association (OHA), scoring eight points in six games as a 14-year-old. The following season, Thornton joined the Stars full-time and reeled off 104 points over 50 games as a 15-year-old, and was drafted second in the 1995 OHL Draft to the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.

Beginning in 1995–96, Thornton began a two-year career in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) with the Greyhounds. In his first year, he earned both the OHL and CHL Rookie of the Year honours. The following season, Thornton was named to the OHL Second All-Star Team.

Personal life

Thornton is married to Tabea Pfendsack, whom he met while playing in Switzerland during the 2004–05 NHL lockout. The couple have a daughter and a son. Born in St. Thomas, Ontario, Thornton became a naturalized American citizen in July 2009 at a ceremony in Campbell, California, a suburb of San Jose. Joe and former Sharks teammate Scott Thornton are first cousins.

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