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Joe Thornton

Born:July 2, 1979Draft:1997 Bruins, #1 Overall
Hometown:St. Thomas, ONPosition:Centre
Known For:“Jumbo Joe”Shoots:Left
National Team:CanadaCurrent Status:UFA

Joseph Eric Thornton (born July 2, 1979) is a Canadian professional ice hockey centre who is currently an unrestricted free agent (UFA). He previously played for the Boston Bruins, San Jose Sharks, Toronto Maple Leafs and Florida Panthers of the National Hockey League (NHL). He was selected first overall by the 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 would go on to another 14 seasons with the Sharks, including four seasons as team captain and a run to the 2016 Stanley Cup Final, before joining the Maple Leafs in 2020.

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. He is widely regarded as one of the best passers of all-time and is one of only 13 players in history with 1,000 NHL assists. His nickname “Jumbo Joe” is a nod to his large stature and to Jumbo the elephant who once performed in St. Thomas, Ontario, where Thornton was raised.

Joe Thornton Toronto Maple Leafs
Joe Thornton, Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images)

Joe Thornton Statistics

Trade Tracker

DateTraded FromTraded ToTraded For
Nov. 30, 2005Boston Bruins San Jose SharksWayne Primeau
Brad Stuart
Marco Sturm

Deeper Dive


  • Captain of the Boston Bruins (2002-2006)
  • Captain of the San Jose Sharks (2010-2014)
  • Two-time World Cup gold medalist with Team Canada (2005, 2017)
  • Olympic Gold Medal with Team Canada (2010)
  • Played in the All-Star Game four times (2004, 2007, 2008, 2009)
  • NHL First All-Star Team (2006)
  • Art Ross Trophy (2006)
  • Hart Memorial Trophy (2006)
  • World Championship (WC) Silver Medal with Team Canada (2005)
  • WC Most Valuable Player (2005)
  • WC All-Star Team (2005)
  • Spengler Cup with Davos (2005)
  • NLA MVP (2005)
  • NLA Champion with Davos (2005)