Joe Thornton is a Canadian hockey player who has played in Boston Bruins and San Jose Sharks during his lengthy NHL career. Thornton is a power forward who has a great ability to pass the puck. His playing position is a center. Thornton is one of the few players to have over 1000 passing points for regular season games in NHL. He has been given a nickname Jumbo Joe for his big size. Thornton has not yet won Stanley Cup with any team.
Thornton played his junior years in OHL league. He became soon one of the top prospects for NHL and Boston Bruins drafted him as number one draft in 1997. He made his NHL debut in season 1997-98. His role during the debut season was small and he did not get too much playing time in average match – and sometimes he was a fringe player who was left out of the roster. This changed already the following season when Thornton nearly doubled his average ice time.
Gradually the role of Thornton grew bigger and he was voted as team captain for 2002-03 season. That season Thornton scored his first over 100 points regular season. During the lockdown season of 2004-05, Thornton played in Swiss NLA league, representing HC Davos.
During the season 2005-06, Thornton was traded to San Jose Sharks. The trade was a big one and included a total of four players. After the season, Thornton won Art Ross Trophy for being the league top scorer. He also was awarded Hart Memorial Trophy in 2006. The next season was partly marred by toe injury that affected the first half of the regular season.
Before season 2010-11, Thornton was chosen as team captain of the Sharks after former captain Rob Blake retired from the game. Thornton had his 1000th career point scored during the season. In 2014, after particularly strong regular season, San Jose was defeated by Los Angeles Kings in playoffs after leading the series already 3-0. This does not happen too often in NHL.
In 2016, after almost twenty years of NHL hockey, Joe Thornton finally made it to the Stanley Cup finals. Thornton scored 21 points in the play-offs, but in the finals, Sharks was defeated by Pittsburgh Penguins in six games. So, Thornton’s quest after the Stanley Cup is still going on. Thornton scored his 1500th career point in February 2020. He is still playing for San Jose Sharks.
Joe Thornton won Olympic gold medal with the Canadian national team in 2010 games. He was also among the players to be chosen for 2014 Olympic Games but had to decline the camp due to personal reasons.
Thornton is two-time Canada Cup / World Cup champion from years 2004 and 2016. Moreover, he won gold medal in Junior World Championships in 1997 and silver in 2005 World Championships.
Other interesting stuff
Thornton met his wife Tabea Pfendsack during the lockout season 2004-05 in Switzerland. The couple have two children – a daughter and a son.
When Thornton signed his first professional contract, he bought his mom a red Corvette. A class act indeed!