Joe Thornton scored 20 goals and posted 69 assists for the Sharks last season. ((Harry How/Getty Images))

The San Jose Sharks named Joe Thornton as their new captain Thursday.

Thornton, a London, Ont. native, becomes the Sharks' eighth full-time captain in the club's 19-year history. He succeeds Rob Blake, who retired at the end of last season after a 20-year career.

The 31-year-old centre also captained the Boston Bruins, who drafted him first overall in the 1997 NHL draft.

San Jose acquired Thornton in 2005, and he has since put his stamp on the organization, scoring 20 goals and posting 69 assists last season. In 13 seasons, Thornton scored 285 goals and tallied 931 points with the Bruins and Sharks.

Dan Boyle will be the Shark's permanent alternate captain while Patrick Marleau and Ryane Clowe will split home and road duties with the other A.

Previous Sharks captains include Owen Nolan and Patrick Marleau.