Jonathan Toews has been an on-ice sensation since he was 19-years-old and taken third overall in the 2006 draft by the Chicago Blackhawks. Since then he’s won two Stanley Cups, earned one of the biggest contracts in NHL history and, for good measure, won two Olympic gold medals.
That doesn’t mean he’s satisfied.
Instead, the ‘Hawks forward, now 27, is primed for a big-time performance looking to lead his team back to a third Stanley Cup championship since 2010. He might even try to score two goals in 72 seconds again.
Here’s what you need to know about the guy Windy City hockey fans know as Captain Serious:
1. He Made His Professional Debut With the Chicago Blackhawks in 2007
After playing two seasons at the University of North Dakota, and leading his team to back-to-back Frozen Four berths, Toews opted out of his final years of college hockey and entered the NHL Entry Draft in 2006 where he was selected third overall by the Chicago Blackhawks.
The draft pick had been a long time coming between Toews and the ‘Hawks, who had scouted the Manitoba native for years. According to a 2004 Chicago scouting report on the then junior Canada player:
Pretty complete package for his age and should only get better as he gets stronger. He skates well, handles the puck comfortably, makes plays and can finish. He displayed a bit of an edge and is not afraid to give and take contact. He also has good size and is solid on his skates. I like him a lot for the future
It didn’t take long for Toews to find his skating legs. He scored his first career goal in his first career game, on October 10, 2007, and then recorded the second-longest point scoring streak to start an NHL career, registering a point in each of his 10 first games. Despite a knee injury that kept him sidelined for 16 games, Toews still finished his rookie season as the goal-scoring leader, and third overall in points, among first-year players.
2. He Was Named Blackhawks Captain in 2008 & Has Won Two Stanley Cups With Chicago
Following his strong rookie season, Toews was named the 34th captain in Chicago Blackhawks history in 2008. The decision made him the third youngest player to earn the honor in the history of the NHL.
Toews immediately took to his role as a leader for the Blackhawks. His intense, serious nature on the ice has forced his teammates to change their approach to the game. Those 60 minutes in the rink are more of a business transaction for Toews than a simple sporting event. That kind of laser focus has, almost singlehandedly, helped Chicago to return to league and postseason glory with a pair of Stanley Cups since 2010.
Toews and the ‘Hawks won their first Stanley Cup in 2010, defeating the Philadelphia Flyers in six games to win the franchise’s first title since 1961. Toews finished the ’10 season with 25 goals and 43 assists as well as three game-winning goals. Chicago once again returned to championship-status in the Stanley Cup Finals in 2013 after winning the Presidents Trophy and eventually defeating the Boston Bruins, with a pair of goals in the final 1:16 of Game 6, for a second title in four years.
After his first Cup win, Toews hometown of Maintoba honored his success by naming a lake, about 93 miles north of Flin Flon, as Toews Lake. The Dakota Community Centre in St. Vital where Toews first played competitive hockey was also renamed the Toews Community Center.
3. He Has Played on the International Circuit & Won Two Olympic Gold Models With Team Canada
As if winning a pair of Stanley Cups before he turned 30 wasn’t enough, Toews has also dominated on the international circuit as well.
Toews played for Canada’s U-17, U-20 and World Junior teams before making his Olympic debut on native ice in Vancouver in 2010. He finished his first Olympic campaign with a tournament-best eight points and, most importantly, a gold medal as Team Canada won a dramatic 3-2 OT game over the United States in the final game. He was named Best Forward of the tournament and earned a spot on the media all-star team as well.
Toews returned to Olympic competition in Sochi in 2014 and, once again, found himself on the top of the podium with his second gold medal. He finished the tournament with four points, including the first goal of the gold medal game against Sweeden.
4. He Signed an Eight-Year Contract Extension, Along with Teammate Patrick Kane, in 2014
Toews and teammate Patrick Kane, who was also a part of the Blackhawks 2006 draft class, signed identical eight-year, $84 million contract extensions in July 2014, making the pair two of the top played athletes in any sport. Of course, it made sense. Since the duo’s arrival Chicago has won two Stanley Cups, reached four Western Conference finals and made six straight post season appearances.
The contracts for Toews and Kane went into effect this season and the high-paying move was simply to keep the duo in the Winy City. After all, according to the duo’s agent Pat Brisson, each player could have gone for as much as $13.8 million a year if they decided to test their options on the free agent market.
The contract made the pair the first NHL players to break the $10 million annual average salary ceiling since the salary cap was put in place in 2005. It was a number, and an announced, signing that drew some criticism from skeptics who thought the pair’s demands would, ultimately, hinder Chicago’s ability to maintain the rest of its roster.
5. He Is Dating Former Model, Hairstylist & Lingerie Football League Player Lindsey Vecchione
Toews and Chicago native Vecchione, 27, have been dating since 2014 and the pair haven’t been particularly shy of showcasing their relationship in public.
Vecchione was one of the original players for the Chicago Bliss, of the Lingerie Football League, and currently works as a hair stylist, operating her own company, Hair by Lindsey. Vecchione has also modeled for a handful of organizations, including Playboy.
Toews’ long-time girlfriend isn’t shy about showcasing her Blackhawks fandom either. She’s regularly spotted rink side and is frequently seen with other Chicago player’s wives and girlfriends at games and team-sponsored events. In fact, the group even has its own Tumblr page devoted to them.