The San Jose Sharks are sending Joe Thornton's number 19 to the rafters next season, the team announced on Wednesday.
Thornton was drafted first overall in 1997 by the Boston Bruins. He was traded to San Jose during the 2005-06 season. Thornton skated in 1104 games with the San Jose Sharks over his 15 years with the team. During that time he scored 251 goals and put up 1055 points.
The San Jose Sharks are sending Joe Thornton's #19 to the rafters, the second in team history.
The Sharks retired Patrick Marleau's number 12 this past February during a ceremony in which Thornton attended. It seems fitting that after Marleau the next Shark to have their number retired would be Thornton.
Thornton is the Sharks all time leader in assists and second in points. He won the Hart Memorial Trophy and Art Ross during the 2005-06 season when after joining the Sharks mid year he put up 92 points in 58 games.
Thornton spent his final few seasons in the NHL chasing the Stanley Cup. He played for the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2020-21 and the Florida Panthers in 2021-22. While he did have a Hall-of-Fame career, Thornton did fall short of winning the Stanley Cup in the end.
The closest Thornton ever made it to the Stanley Cup was the 2015-16 season. The Sharks made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Final that year, with Thornton 36 years old. San Jose ended up falling short losing to the Pittsburgh Penguins but Thornton did have a strong playoff run putting up 21 points.
Thornton was captain of the San Jose Sharks from 2009-10 season to 2013-14. During that time the Sharks made it to the postseason every year. The organization even made it to the Conference Final in 2010 and 2011.
Thornton holds the record for the most points in a single season by a Sharks player with 114 during the 2006-07 season. The seventh best point scorere on the team that season was Mike Grier, the now general manager in San Jose.
A specific date for Thornton's number retirement has not been deteremined as of yet.