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Thornton Wins NHL's Point Race Over Jagr

After posting a National Hockey League best 125 points, San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton captured the Art Ross Trophy, given to the League’s leading scorer, on Tuesday. Thornton beat out New York Ranger Jaromir Jagr, who notched 123 points on the season. This marks the first time a Sharks player has led the NHL in points.

"This is a team award," said Thornton. "You want to play well and good players make you better. Cheech and I are happy for each other."

It was not just his teammates who played a big role.

"I'm happy to win it for my family," said Thornton. "I'm surrounded by good people."

And Thornton knows that a lot of good hockey players have won the award previously.

"I'm proud and very humbled," said Thornton. "I never dreamed about it. A lot of big names have won it before."

Thornton led the League with 125 points (29 goals, 96 assists) in 81 games this season. Since being acquired by the Sharks on Nov. 30, he posted 92 points (2nd in franchise history) and 72 assists (a franchise record) in helping the Sharks to a 36-14-7 record in his 57 games with the team. By recording 125 points overall, he became the most-prolific scorer in the history of NHL by a player who played for two teams in one season and is just the 11th player in NHL history to record 90-plus assists in one season.

During the 2005-06 season, Thornton was the Seagate Technology “Sharks Player of the Year,” Seagate Technology “Sharks Player of the Month” for December and the NHL Offensive Player of the Week for the weeks of Dec. 5-11 and April 10-16. The six-foot-four, 223-pound native of London, Ontario competed for Team Canada’s men’s ice hockey team at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy.

Thornton made an immediate impact with the Sharks, setting a franchise record by recording six consecutive multi-point games and helping the team to six consecutive victories in his first six contests. He concluded the season in similar fashion, posting six multi-point games in the teams final six of seven games. Thornton also tied a franchise record by recording assists in eight consecutive games from Dec. 2–20.

Thornton captured his first scoring title after coming to the Sharks on Nov. 30 from Boston in exchange for forwards Marco Sturm, Wayne Primeau and defenseman Brad Stuart. The award is the center’s first major NHL award in his eight year career.

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