Joe Thornton was born in London, Ontario. Drafted 1st overall in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft by the Boston Bruins, Thornton played six seasons for the Bruins, with his best season coming in 2002-03 when he scored 101 points. During the 2004-05 NHL lockout, Thornton played for Hockey Club Davos with Rick Nash and won the Swiss ice hockey championship. During the 2006-2007 season, Joe Thornton recorded 90 assists for the second season in a row, joining Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky as the only players in NHL history accomplish this. On November 30, 2005, Thornton was traded to the San Jose Sharks in a blockbuster deal, which sent forwards Marco Sturm and Wayne Primeau and defenseman Brad Stuart to Boston. Thornton was Boston's leading scorer at the time by a substantial margin and many felt that Bruins GM Mike O'Connell had dealt away one of the few players who was truly showing any effort. Bruins fans were upset, but San Jose fans were excited. Upon arriving in San Jose, Thornton immediately made an impact. With 14 points in his first 6 games, he found instant chemistry with winger Jonathan Cheechoo. With Thornton as his centreman, Cheechoo became a 50-goal scorer and won the Rocket Richard Trophy. Thornton himself would lead the NHL with 96 assists and win the Art Ross Trophy as leading NHL scorer. Thornton has collected several awards in his career alongside the Art Ross and Hart wins of 2006. He was an NHL All-Star in 2002, 2003 and 2004. Thornton also helped his team win the Spengler Cup in 2004, helped his team win the Swiss hockey league championship in 2005 and has been a continuous fixture on the NHL All-Star team. Thornton is probably best known for his play as a playmaker, setting up Jonathon Cheechoo for several goals and open shots. His size allows him to create lots of space and his uncanny ability to find open players with a soft pass and with great hands makes him an asset to any NHL team. Thornton instantly raises the levels of the players around him, like Crosby, and has a vicious streak that strikes fear into most opponents.