Ben Shelley - Joe Thornton signs with Toronto Maple Leafs

Tanya Simon
October 18, 2020

When he was younger, Thornton played for the OHL's Soo Greyhounds.

Thornton, the six-time All Star has spent the past 15 seasons playing for the San Jose Sharks, putting up the most assists in franchise history with 804.

The 41-year-old center signed a one-year contract to join the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday, the Maple Leafs announced via Twitter.

The 41-year-old former first overall pick will begin the season with Davos before switching to the National Hockey League, which has set January 1 as its target return date after a pandemic-disrupted 2019-2020 season.

Thornton is the second Ontario-born veteran to sign a league-minimum deal with the Leafs in this free agency, joining Jason Spezza.

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Thornton grew up in St. Thomas, Ont., south of London.

With 1,509 career points, Thornton ranks 14th on the NHL's all-time scoring list, and is seventh all-time in assists with 1,089.

Thornton recorded 31 points (seven goals, 24 assists) in 70 games this past season with the San Jose Sharks.

It was rumoured that the Leafs had interest in Thornton and vice versa and clearly he wants to win a Stanley Cup.

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