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Maple Leafs’ Thornton on Hollowell: Nice Kid – Doesn’t Know Def Leppard

During the quarantine for Maple Leafs’ players returning to Canada, Joe Thornton and Mac Hollowell became friends. What’s the story?

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An NHL hockey team is made up of about 23 players (maximum), except for this odd season when there’s also a taxi squad of about four to six extra players hanging around. So that makes about 30 players all told. That group of NHL players – and I’m thinking about the Toronto Maple Leafs here – vary in age between 41-year-old Joe Thornton and 19-year-old Nick Robertson.

[By the way, if Thornton scores a goal after March 13, he’ll become the oldest Maple Leafs’ player ever to do so. Allan Stanley scored a goal when he was 41 years and 252 days old.]

Related: Maple Leafs Unclear About Andersen Return, Make Goalie Choice Anyway

Joe Thornton and Mac Hollowell: An Odd Friendship?

In this post, I’ll share a video where Thornton talks about how he formed a bond with 22-year-old Maple Leafs’ prospect Hollowell. Here’s the circumstance.

Before the Toronto Maple Leafs’ season began in January, a number of players who returned to Canada from other countries had to quarantine together as per NHL protocol. Among those players were Joe Thornton, Auston Matthews, William Nylander, Rasmus Sandin, and Mac Hollowell.

Apparently, Thornton and Hollowell – although 20 years different in age – had a lot in common and became great friends. Here’s Thornton talking about the young Hollowell

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More Information About Mac Hollowell

For Maple Leafs’ fans who don’t know Hollowell, he’s a dimunitive 22-year-old right shot defenseman who was the Maple Leafs’ a fourth-round (118th overall) draft choice in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. He’s been playing with the Marlies this season after he returned from a short stint (six games) with TUTO Turku in Finland where he scored two goals and four assists in six games.

Hollowell had been loaned to TUTO Hockey of Finland’s Mestis, which is Finland’s second-highest men’s hockey league. Last season he scored 12 points in 34 AHL games with the Toronto Marlies and 13 points in 19 ECHL games. 

In March 2019, he had signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Maple Leafs and – although he’s only 5-foot-9 and 169 pounds – the Maple Leafs’ organization hopes he has the makings of a quality NHL defenseman.

Thornton Formed a Bond with Hollowell

In the video below, Maple Leafs’ veteran Joe Thornton talks about how he came to form a fast friendship with the young Maple Leafs’ prospect Hollowell, how he’s learned a lot from the youngster even though he’s 20 years older, and how he’s trying to educate him a bit on his taste in music.

When You Spend Two Weeks Together, You Learn a Lot About Each Other – Especially Music

Over the 12-13 days that Thornton and Hollowell spent together, they got to know each other “really, really well.” As Thornton noted, “I think he’s just a super kid to be honest … he’s just a fun guy to be around.”

Thornton added that he was not alone because the “other guys really like him being in the locker room” because he “just lightens things up.”

Related: Who’s the Hardest-Working Maple Leafs’ Player? Alex Galchenyuk

Thornton admits that, although “he’s 20 years younger than me, we have the same interests and … it’s kinda cool.” Thornton admitted that Hollowell was teaching him a lot of things and he was teaching Hollowell some things as well.

Thornton noted sincerely that “it’s a good friendship.” When asked what some of the things Hollowell was teaching him, he noted “he’s got some different music than me.” However, Thornton had taken as his job to try to teach Hollowell more about The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, and Def Leppard.”

Good luck Jumbo. You have the hair, but it’s kind of in the wrong spot on your head.

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