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Feb 23, 2019; Columbus, OH, USA; San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton (19) against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena.
Toronto Maple Leafs' Joe Thornton might be 41 years old, but he says thanks to his teammates, he's feeling a sense of youth. The first-year Maple Leaf got the chance to hit the ice with his new team with the start of training camp, and is already benefiting from the young age of those on his line.
He's been on the Leafs' top line with Auston Matthews, 23, and Mitch Marner, who is also 23.
Thornton had high praise for his younger counterparts. He said (via Toronto Sun's Lance Hornby):
"To start with them is pretty special. I feel young again."
Thornton also discussed moving from center to left wing. He is used to playing center, but says he is fine lacing up to the other position.
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"I played like a rover in San Jose. I feel comfortable there," he said.
Last season with the Sharks he had seven goals and 24 assists in 70 games.
The 22-year veteran was drafted first overall by the Boston Bruins in 1997, the year Matthews and Marner were born. During his time in the NHL, he has also suited up for the San Jose Sharks.
He signed a one-year, $700,000 contract with the Maple Leafs in October. At the time he was preparing to play hockey in Switzerland with the Swiss National League team HC Davos.