Joe Thornton

Joseph Eric Thornton ( born July 2, 1979 in London, Ontario ) is a Canadian professional ice hockey in the National Hockey League for the San Jose Sharks playing on the position of the center since 2005.

  • 2.1 International
  • 3.1 International


Thornton first played to 1995 as a junior near his birthplace. For the 1995/96 season he joined the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League game. With 76 points in 66 games, he was appointed at the end of his first season for the rookie of the year the OHL and CHL. His second and final season for the Greyhounds was similarly successful for him. This year he collected 122 points in only 59 games. In addition to the nomination to the All-Star team in the league Thornton was also regarded as one of the most promising candidates for an early draw in the NHL Entry Draft in 1997. Ultimately, the Canadian was caught up as a total first of the draft by the Boston Bruins, before his later teammate Patrick Marleau. Thornton thereby fulfilled the expectations as highly traded draft pick of the three Canadian junior leagues.

After a disastrous 1996/97 season the Bruins, they committed their talent at the beginning of the new season. Thornton, then 18 years old could, however, meet the targeted him in hopes of lean seven points from 55 games in any way, nevertheless Boston reached the first round of the playoffs. In the following three seasons, the Center was able to increase its yield point up to 71 points, but the Bruins missed this in two seasons to qualify for the playoffs. In the 2001 /02 season Thorntons point yield stagnated for the first time since his debut in the National Hockey League, but he improved the same in the 2002/03 season by as much as 30 to 101 points. It was also his best season in the jersey of the traditional teams and was rewarded with the appointment to the NHL Second All-Star Team. The following season spent the Canadians in Boston, it was his points production but again significantly different and the team, as in the past two years, with one in the playoffs once again disappointing Thornton as captain in the first round.

The 2004/ 05 spent Thornton because of the NHL lockout when HC Davos in the Swiss National League A, where he on Rick Nash - also drafted in 2002 at position 1 - Niklas Hagman and the Finns met. The three NHL stars, were instrumental in 27 Swiss Championship of HC Davos and led the team and for winning the prestigious Spengler Cup. Thornton was honored at the end of the season as the Most Valuable Player of the National League A.

Before the season 2005/ 06 Thornton extended his contract in Boston for three years with a total salary of 19.8 million U.S. dollars, even though he initially did not want to stay there and other teams had already made contact with the management of the Bruins. Despite the extension of the contract and the aspect that Thornton was by far the best scorer of his team at this time, it came on 30 November 2005 to a so-called blockbuster trade. Thornton was traded from the Boston Bruins against defenders Brad Stuart, Wayne Primeau Center and the German Marco Sturm of the San Jose Sharks. With the commitment Thornton, the Sharks improved abruptly, which was also due to Thornton's 14 points in his first six games for the new team. In addition, he found in Jonathan Cheechoo a partner with whom he got along right off the bat blind on the ice. Cheechoo scored 56 goals this season and received the coveted Maurice Rocket ' Richard Trophy for the best scorers in the league. Thornton capped his 125 -point season by winning the Art Ross Trophy for the best scorer of the league and the Hart Memorial Trophy for Most Valuable Player. This feat so far no player in the history of the NHL, who had to switch teams during the season. In addition, he was appointed to the NHL First All -Star Team. The playoffs for the first time ran successfully as the regular season in the career of the Canadian. In just eleven games with the Sharks, he scored half as many points as the Bruins in 35 games.

In the season 2006/ 07 Thornton tied despite minor injuries early in the season seamlessly to the achievements of the previous year, which meant that he left behind Sidney Crosby collected the most points of all NHL players. In addition, he set new franchise records in the categories of points and assists for the Sharks. With his 90th season Assist on 5 April 2007 made ​​him the third player in the history of the NHL - after Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux - prepare in two consecutive seasons 90 or more goals. During the summer break, the management extended his 2008 expiring contract for three years until 2011. Thornton This trust paid back in the game in 2007/ 08 and was next to goalkeeper Yevgeny Nabokov the best and most consistent player during the season. Although he was only 96 scorer points, including 67 originals, recorded, but the level is by far the most successful attacker repeats the Northern Californians.

On April 8, 2011 in the regular season, he scored in his 994th NHL game against the Phoenix Coyotes a goal and reached the 78th player in the history of the NHL, the mark of 1,000 points.

Due to the lockout in the NHL, he returned in September 2012 back to HC Davos. After the end of the lockout Joe Thornton returned to the NHL with the Sharks.

Thornton 's athlete ambassador of development organization Right to Play.


On the international stage Thornton ran for a total of five tournaments for the Canadian national team, which once at junior level.

For the first time Thornton joined the World Youth Championship 1997 in Switzerland internationally in appearance, as he was able to win the gold medal over the U.S. team with the team to a 2-0 final victory. In seven games, the then 17 -year-old recorded four points scorer.

In his first tournament at senior level, the World Cup 2001 in Germany, disappointed the Canadian team with a fifth place and the center remained rather pale with two points from six matches. A significant increase was Thornton three years later at the World Cup of Hockey in 2004 when winning the gold medal succeeded and he contributed six points in six games to win the title. At the World Championship 2005 in Austria, the Canadians again presented improved. Because of his 16 points scorer in nine games, he was elected most valuable player of the tournament. Together with the wingers Rick Nash and Simon Gagné he led the Canadians to the final, but could there not prevent the 0-3 defeat against the Czech Republic and had to settle for the silver medal. He was also nominated for the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Turin, the services in the national jersey in the previous World Cup and the World Cup of Hockey, where he was one of the key players of the team. However, he scored in six games only one goal and presented itself as many of his teammates under normal form, which the team failed early in the quarterfinals. However, the striker was in the summer of 2009 as one of 46 players invited to the preparatory training camp for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. On December 30, his second Olympic participation was confirmed. Likewise, took his two colleagues Storm Patrick Marleau and Dany Heatley for Canada in the tournament, with whom he formed an attacking line. Thornton collected in seven tournament games, only two points scorer, won at the end of the Winter Olympics but the gold medal.

Awards and achievements

  • 2005 Swiss Champion with HC Davos
  • 2005 Most Valuable Player of the National League A
  • 2006 Art Ross Trophy
  • 2006 Hart Memorial Trophy
  • 2006 NHL First All -Star Team
  • 2006 Seagate Technology " Sharks Player of the Year" Award
  • 2007 NHL All-Star Game
  • 2007 Seagate Technology " Sharks Player of the Year" Award
  • 2008 NHL All-Star Game
  • 2008 NHL Second All-Star Team
  • 2009 NHL All-Star Game


  • 2005 Top assist provider of the World Cup
  • 2005 Most Valuable Player of the World Cup
  • 2010 Gold medal at the Olympic Winter Games

Career Stats


Represented Canada at:

  • World U -17 Hockey Challenge in 1995
  • U20 World Junior Championships 1997
  • World Cup 2001
  • World Cup of Hockey 2004
  • World Championship 2005
  • 2006 Winter Olympics
  • 2010 Winter Olympics

( Key to Career statistics: Sp or GP = Games Played, T or G = goals scored, V or A = achieved assists; Pts or Pts = scored points scorer, SM or PIM = received penalty minutes, / - = Plus / Minus balance sheet; PP = scored majority gates; SH = scored shorthanded goals, GW = achieved victory gates; Play-downs/Relegation 1 )


Thornton's cousin Scott Thornton was also a professional hockey player. Both played in the season 2005/ 06 together with the San Jose Sharks. Scott Thornton ended his career in the summer of 2008 after 1020 inserts in the National Hockey League.

Cody Thornton, the nephew of Joe Thornton, playing for the season 2010/ 11 in the second hockey league for the Landshut Cannibals.