Joe Thornton’s First Hockey Card

Joe_Thornton

Two decades before he would grow the most famous playoff beards in NHL history, “Jumbo” Joe Thornton was a teenager, with nary a whisker, playing major junior hockey. This hockey card from the 1995-96 Slapshot OHL set is of a 16-year old Thornton playing for the Sault Ste. Marie (“Soo”) Greyhounds. The back shows a fresh-faced Thornton, 30 pounds lighter and with much less hair. 

Joe_Thornton_back

No beard or facial scruff, though there is a hint of a five o’clock shadow that probably took him a week to grow. Below his picture, the card states “Joe is a big forward who uses his size and his head along with his great shot and playmaking abilities.”

Joe_Thornton_now_and_then

Twenty years later, Thornton is still using all of those traits in the NHL, but we should add “growing an awesome playoff beard” to the list, too. ■

Author: Sal Barry

Sal Barry is the editor and webmaster of Puck Junk. He is a freelance hockey writer, college professor and terrible hockey player. Follow him on Twitter @puckjunk

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