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A young PJ Axelsson assists on Joe Thornton's first-ever NHL Goal

Elsa/Getty Images

1997 saw the debut of two of the more pivotal figures in recent Bruins history: Joe Thornton, fresh out of the draft, and PJ Axelsson, who as we mentioned earlier had been drafted 177th overall in 1995. On December 3rd, Thornton was playing with PJ.

How it happened:

Axelsson (57) steals the puck off the stick of Colin Forbes (12) and takes off into the offensive zone, springing a 3-on-2. Axelsson drops it to Joe Thornton (6) and runs into Chris Therrien (6). Thornton takes advantage of the space created to sneak around and backhand it past Garth Snow (lol). Why future Hall-of-Famer Joe Thornton had to wait until December 3rd to score his first goal is anyone's guess, but I'm sure holding back young talent will be something the Bruins won't do going forward.

The clip:

Not much longer into that same game, PJ Axelsson himself scored a goal. It was his second of the season, and it was assisted by Tim Taylor and Ray Bourque. Here's the clip of that, too:

Thanks to Dafoomie for putting this on youtube and the Hockey Summary Project for the box score info.