Nathan Horton was born May 29, 1985 in Welland, Ontario. The first round, third overall selection of the Florida Panthers in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, Horton is a graduate of the OHL's Oshawa Generals.
An offensively gifted forward, Horton played two seasons in Oshawa tallying 135 points (64-71-135) before making his NHL debut with Florida in 2003-04. The Welland, Ontario native impressed the Panther staff with his gritty play, thus earning himself a roster spot. Despite a shoulder injury in the latter stages of the season, Horton went on to register 22 points on the strength of 14 goals.
Over the next three seasons in Florida, Horton would improve offensively and twice record 67 points. Prior to the start of his 2007-08 season, Horton signed a six-year, 24 million dollar contract with the Panthers.
On the international stage, Horton was a gold medal winner with Canada's Under-18 Team in 2002; Horton also led Team Ontario to a bronze medal at the 2002 Under-17 World Hockey Challenge.
On June 22, 2010, Horton was dealt to the Boston Bruins along with Gregory Campbell in exchange for defender Denis Wideman and a pair of draft picks. The move would prove to be a great one for Horton. He would go on to have his most offensively productive seasons in years and played a key role in the Boston Bruins 2011 Stanley Cup championship.
Prior to the 2013-14 season, Horton signed a seven year contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets. However, a back injury has sidelined Horton since the beginning of the 2014-15 season and threatens his career.
In a salary cap saving move, the Maple Leafs traded David Clarkson to the Blue Jackets to acquire Horton on February 26,2015.