That rookie, of course, was Tyler Seguin. And while everyone seemed to agree that Seguin was a star in the making, there was one pocket of fans that was crazy over another youngster — Brad Marchand.
The scrappy forward made his NHL debut last season, appearing in 20 games with the big club. And when he came to camp this season, that group of fans was telling us all to look out for Marchand.
Most laughed it off, but before long, it was apparent that Marchand would be in Boston to stay.
He kicked around on the “energy line” alongside Shawn Thornton and Gregory Campbell to begin the year. From there, though, he started to show a real knack for making plays and making valuable contributions.
So, Claude Julien moved the kid up to a line with Mark Recchi and Patrice Bergeron. It was arguably the best move Julien made all year, as the line instantly became one of Boston’s most effective.
Now, on the biggest of stages, the Stanley Cup Final, Marchand has once again elevated his game to a new level. He’s been one of the Bruins’ more valuable players all season long, and that’s something that has continued throughout the spring.
His contributions on the statsheet have been impressive, but his intangible contributions have been even more impressive. Marchand is the prototypical, “I’d hate him if he played for anyone else, but he’s wearing our jersey, so I love him” player. He toes the line on every shift, and is usually willing to deal with the battles he starts.
For that, Marchand has surely been called many words on the ice, all of which are far too unsuitable to print. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t a bunch of other words you could use to describe the 23-year-old. Here are some of the best.