Jumbo Joe Thornton is finally a Toronto Maple Leaf. Fans of the Maple Leafs have wanted Thornton to come home for a long time. For many, that dream has finally come true and is now a reality. He signed a one-year deal worth $700,000.
Thornton Had A Long Road Home
His journey started back in 1997 at the 1997 NHL Entry Draft. Thornton was selected first overall by the Boston Bruins. He spent parts of 8 seasons with the Bruins. During that time, he recorded 169 goals and 285 assists for 454 points in 532 games. After just 23 games into his 8th season with the Bruins, Thornton got traded to the San Jose Sharks.
The former first overall pick was going to the Sharks for what would be a lengthy stay. Going to the Bruins in the trade were Marco Sturm, Wayne Primeau, and Brad Stuart. The trio combined for a total of 506 games played with the Bruins. Thornton would play more than double that amount of games with the Sharks.
Thornton Excels With Sharks
When the big man got traded to the Sharks in 2005-06, he already had 33 points in 23 games for the Bruins. Once he got to San Jose, he exploded onto the score sheet with 20 goals and 72 assists for 92 points in 58 games to end the 2005-06 season.
He would end up playing with the Sharks for 15 seasons. During that time, he recorded 251 goals and 804 assists for 1055 points in 1104 games. Last season was his worst as a Shark, but the season was cut a bit short by the Coronavirus pandemic. He scored seven goals and 24 assists for 31 points in 70 games. We must not forget that the Sharks were not a good team in 2019-20 and that factors into his lower point totals. During 73 games in the 2018-19 season, he scored 16 goals and 35 assists for 51 points.
What Thornton Brings To The Maple Leafs
First and foremost, he brings size up the middle. He is 6’4 and 220 Lbs and uses that size very well to protect the puck. The second thing he brings to the Maple Leafs is an assists wizard. Put him on either of the power plays and watch the magic happen. The third thing that I would like to point out is leadership. Both on and off the ice, he will be another mentor and leader for these younger players, just like Jason Spezza.
I am thrilled with this signing. I think Jumbo Joe brings a lot of things to the Maple Leafs that they were lacking. His ability to protect the puck, along with his playmaking, will help out greatly on a team with so many goal scorers. His leadership and mentoring will also go a long way in helping the younger players learn a lot about the game.
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