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Thornton and Burns Will Represent Canada at 2016 World Cup

by Staff Writer / San Jose Sharks

SAN JOSE - Hockey Canada announced today that San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) forward Joe Thornton and defenseman Brent Burns (@Burnzie88) have been selected to represent Team Canada at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. The tournament will be held from Sept. 17-Oct. 1 at Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

Thornton, 36, has recorded 18 points (3 goals,15 assists) in San Jose's run to the Stanley Cup Final. His 15 assists rank second in the NHL and his seven power-play points ranks seventh.

"Jumbo" posted 82 points (19 goals, 63 assists) and a +25 rating in 82 games this season. Along with ranking 1st on the Sharks in assists and points, Thornton finished 2nd in the NHL in assists, T-4th in points, and 5th in power-play points (29). He also recorded at least one point in each of San Jose's last 33 regular season wins.

On top of his numerous accolades from this season, Thornton has surpassed historical milestones and placed himself in the company of NHL Hall-of-Famers. He currently ranks 14th on the NHL's all-time assists list with 964 assists, and 28th on the all-time points list with 1,341 points accumulated over his career. More so, amongst active players, "Jumbo" sits in 2nd place on both lists behind only Jaromir Jagr. Since he was traded to San Jose on November 30, 2005, Thornton has recorded the third most points in the NHL with 887 points scored (208 goals, 679 assists).

Thornton has amassed a notable international career, representing his home country of Canada in the Winter Olympics twice (2006, 2010 Gold Medal), as well as appearing in two World Championships (2000, 2005), the World Cup of Hockey (2004) and the World Junior Championships (1997).

The six-foot-four, 220-pound native of London, Ontario was originally selected by Boston in the first round (1st overall) of the 1997 NHL Draft. He was acquired by San Jose from Boston on November 30, 2005.

Burns, 31, leads all defensemen with 20 points (6 goals, 14 assists) in the 2016 playoffs. Among all NHL skaters he ranks T-2nd with four power play goals, T-4th with nine power play points and is T-7th with a plus-7 rating.

On April 29, Burns was selected as one of three finalists for the James Norris Trophy, awarded to the League's top defenseman as voted by the Professional Hockey Writers' Association (PHWA).

For the 2015-16 campaign, Burns posted 75 points (27 goals, 48 assists) and 353 shots on goal in 82 games played. He ranked 1st on the Sharks in goals, assists, points, power-play goals, power-play points, shots, and game-winning goals amongst defensemen. Amongst all San Jose skaters, he ranked 2nd in goals and assists, and 3rd in points. He also finished first amongst NHL defensemen in goals and T-third in assists. Amongst all NHL players, he ranked 11th in points, T-11th in assists and 2nd in shots, behind only Alex Ovechkin.

In addition, Burns set a couple of San Jose franchise milestones this season. He surpassed Sandis Ozolinsh for most goals by a Sharks defenseman with 27 on March 28 vs Los Angeles, set a record for most assists by a Sharks blueliner and for most points by a Sharks defenseman with 65 on March 20 vs Arizona.

"Burnzie" has previously competed for Team Canada in the World Championships (2008, 2010, 2011, 2015) and at the World Junior Championships in 2004. Burns won a gold medal with Team Canada in 2015 and was named "Best Defenseman" of the tournament after posting 11 points (two goals, nine assists) and a plus-12 rating in ten games.

The six-foot-five, 230-pound native of Barrie, Ontario was originally selected by the Minnesota Wild in the first round (20th overall) of the 2003 NHL Draft. He was acquired by San Jose from Minnesota on June 24, 2011.

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