SAN JOSE, CA - The San Jose chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association announced today that San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) forward Joe Thornton has been selected as its 2020 nominee for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy for the third year in a row. The Masterton Trophy is awarded each season under the trusteeship of the PHWA to the National Hockey Leagueplayer who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.
In 2019-20, Thornton played in all 70 games, registering 31 points (seven goals, 24 assists) in 15:30 minutes of ice time per game. Since the start of the 2020 calendar year, Thornton was tied for third in goals (6) and assists (10) among all Sharks skaters in that span. He finished the season with points in four of his last fives games (three goals, one assist).
Throughout the year, the 40-year-old forward achieved a myriad of milestones. On Dec.12, 2019, Thornton became the 12th player in NHL history to appear in 1,600 NHL games. He recorded his 1,500th career NHL point and his 800th assist as a Shark on Feb. 4, 2020, becoming the 14th player in league history to achieve 1,500 points and the 15th player to collect 800 assists with a single franchise. Thornton additionally skated in his 1,100th career game in a Sharks sweater on Mar. 3, 2020.
With each game Thornton played this past season, he seemingly passed another one of the NHL's most hallowed legends. During the 2019-20 campaign, he surpassed Adam Oates for seventh on the NHL's all-time assist list, Jason Arnott for 85th on the NHL's all-time goals list and Ray Bourque, Larry Murphy and Scott Stevens for sole possession of ninth on the NHL's all-time games played list.
Since joining the Sharks during the 2005-06 season, "Jumbo" has registered 251 goals, 804 assists and a plus-161 rating in 1,104 games. Only Alex Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin have scored more points in the NHL since he arrived in San Jose. Thornton is the Sharks all-time leader in assists and plus-minus rating, and ranks second in games played and points (1,055) on the franchise's scoring list.
Entering the league in 1997, Thornton has been one of the most prolific scorers in the NHL. In 1,636 career games, he has recorded 420 goals, 1,089 assists and a plus-186 rating. He ranks seventh on the NHL's all-time assist list, ninth on the NHL's all-time games played list and 14th on the NHL's all-time points list (1,509).
The London, Ontario native is a six-time NHL All-Star (2002-04, 2007-09), and won both the Art Ross Trophy and Hart Memorial Trophy during the 2005-06 season. He was also named an NHL First-Team All-Star in 2006 and has been an NHL Second-Team All-Star three times (2003, 2008, 2016).
Drafted first overall during the 1997 NHL Draft by the Boston Bruins, he also has represented Canada on numerous occasions, most recently winning the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
The Masterton Trophy winner is selected from a poll of the 30 chapters of the PHWA at the end of the regular season and a $2,500 grant from the PHWA is awarded annually to the Bill Masterton Scholarship Fund, based in Bloomington, Minn., in the name of the winner.
The PHWA first presented the Masterton Trophy in 1968 to commemorate the late Bill Masterton, a player with the Minnesota North Stars, who exhibited, to a high degree, the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey. Masterton died Jan. 15, 1968 following an injury suffered in a game.
Former Shark Tony Granato received the award in 1997.