Who is Jonathan Toews?
Jonathan Toews is a Canadian ice hockey player, who currently serves as the captain of the NHL team Chicago Blackhawks. Born and brought up in Manitoba, Canada, Jonathan and his younger brother started practising ice hockey very early in their lives as their father used to make a hockey rink in their backyard during the winter seasons. As a result of this early interest in the game, Jonathan grew up to be a highly competitive player and kept playing ice hockey throughout his high school and college years. In 2006, he was drafted as the third overall pick by Chicago Blackhawks and in his rookie season, Jonathan earned a nomination for the Calder Memorial Trophy given away to the Rookie of the Year. In his second season for the Blackhawks he was made the captain of the team. Hence, he became the second youngest NHL captain of all times. In addition, he ended up winning the Stanley Cup in 2010, 2013 and 2015 and became the youngest player ever to win three Stanley Cups. Jonathan has also played for the Canadian national team. Frequently considered to be one of the greatest ice hockey players active today, he was named one among the 100 Greatest NHL Players in 2017.
Childhood & Early Career
Jonathan Toews was born on April 29, 1988 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada to parents Brian Toews and Andree Gilbert into an upper middle class family. His father worked at the University of Manitoba as the chief electrician while his mother worked as a managing director and finance expert at a credit union. Jonathan was the elder one among the two brothers and his younger brother David also went on to forge a career in ice hockey following his brother’s footsteps.
Their father Brian was himself a keen ice hockey enthusiast and he sparked the first interest in his sons for the game. Jonathan started skating at the age of 3 and became extremely confident with that. Within a couple of years, he further started playing ice hockey. Seeing both his kids enjoying ice hockey, their father built a backyard rink for them and all three of them skated there till they were tired. Brian said that Jonathan had a natural talent and a keen presence of mind at a young age which nobody could have taught him.
Toews first stint with professional ice hockey took place in 2003, when he was 15 years of age. Jonathan was selected as the first overall by Tri-City Americans in the 2003 WHL Bantan draft. Dropping this great opportunity, Jonathan decided to play for Shattuck-Saint Mary’s, a boarding school in Minnesota. During his second year playing for the school, Jonathan scored 110 points in 64 games in an exquisite performance which had him becoming the absolute favourite when he went on to play college hockey.
He joined University of North Dakota and played well enough to muster up 40 goals and 45 assists in the first two seasons. He was further made an alternate captain of the team in his sophomore season and under his captainship, his team managed to reach NCAA Frozen Four in 2006 and 2007. He further led his college team to a title win in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association and earned for himself the tag of West Regional MVP.
In the 2006 NHL Draft, Jonathan was selected as the third overall pick by Chicago Blackhawks.
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In May 2007, Jonathan officially joined Blackhawks on a three years contract and made his debut against San Jose Sharks in October 2007. On the very first shot in his debut game, he scored the first professional goal of his career. With that, he went off to a great start and became the second ever player to start his NHL career with an unbroken point scoring streak. He registered a point in each one the first ten games of his NHL career; of them five were goals and five were assists.
In a January 2008 match against Los Angeles Kings, Jonathan suffered an injury which kept him away from playing for the next 16 games. Despite that, he ended his rookie season with third position in the final points tally and second in his team behind Patrick Kane. Both Patrick and Jonathan were nominated for the Calder Memorial Trophy as the NHL Rookie of the Year with Jonathan ending up as the first runner up behind Kane.
In July 2008, he was named the team captain for Blackhawks and with that he became the third youngest captain in the NHL history. In February 2009, Jonathan struck his first career hat-trick against Pittsburgh but despite that, his team could not register the win. He then led his team to the finals of the Conference Cup, where Blackhawks lost to Detroit Red Wings.
Right before the 2009-2010 season, Jonathan was taken off the field during a contest with Vancouver Canucks. He missed the next few games owing to the concussion like symptoms. In December 2009, Jonathan received an extension on his contract for five more years and he ended the season with 68 points in 76 games.
In May 2010, Jonathan registered the second hat-trick of his career against Canucks in a 2010 play-off match. In June 2010, he led his team to win the Stanley Cup which was Chicago’s first cup win since 1961. He further became the second youngest NHL team captain to bring his team to a Stanley Cup victory. In the same year, he got his hands on the Conn Smythe Trophy as play-off MVP.
Jonathan reached his career high with 76 points in the 80 games that he played in during the 2010-11 season. An injury kept him away from appearing in the 2012 All-Star game. In October 2013, Jonathan scored yet another hat-trick against Ottawa Senators.
The successful steak for Jonathan reflected in the final points tally for the 2013-14 season where he scored 68 points in 76 games. In July 2014, Blackhawks announced that Jonathan’s contract had been extended by 8 more years. In 2015, he led his team to a victory in the Western Conference Final and scored the first two goals for his team while he was at it.
In June 2015, Jonathan was named the recipient of Mark Messier Leadership Award. He further won an ESPY Award in 2015 which is given to the best NHL player of the season. He was selected to play in the 2017 All-Star game but missed out on it due to illness. He further ended the season 2017-18 with 52 goals in 74 games.
Jonathan also serves as a key part of the national Canadian team. He started with captaining Canada West and got his team a gold medal in the World U-17 Hockey Challenge. He was named the MVP of the tournament following his excellent performance.
In 2007, Jonathan led the Canadian team to win a gold medal in the World Junior Championship and in the same year, he made his debut as a senior. He further ensured a gold medal for his team in the 2007 World Championship and led his national team to a victory in the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics.
Jonathan Toews and one of his North Dakota teammates were apprehended by the North Dakota police when they both charged for underage drinking in 2007. They were kept on probation and instructed to perform community service.
Since 2007, Jonathan Toews has been dating a Chicago based model Lindsey Vecchione.