When Brad Marchand made the jump to the NHL during the Boston Bruins Stanley Cup run in 2011, he almost instantly became public enemy No.1 with opponents with his on-ice antics.

Over the years, the Bruins have watched Marchand grow into an elite forward in the league and tone down the feistiness during games — even if his reputation lives in infamy with the other 31 NHL clubs and their fanbases.

Marchand has not just become a star in the league but has grown into a leader on and off the ice. The Bruins rewarded Marchand by naming him as the 27th captain in franchise history on Wednesday.

Bruins general manager Don Sweeney was asked which was more surprising, seeing Marchand grow as a player or being named captain.

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“I don’t think I’m surprised by either to be perfectly honest with you,” Sweeney said, as seen on NESN. “Knowing how determined he was, he’s (5-foot-9), so you realize the laws of physics apply. The rules of the game adapted and changed and he took advantage of those rules and evolved as a player, just like he has in stepping into this leadership role.”

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To his credit, Marchand had two extraordinary leaders before him: Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron.

“He’s learned and been surrounded from some great leaders and great people that I think he’s drawn from as resources,” Sweeney said. “He’s going to have continued resources around him, internally and externally, that he can continue to draw from.

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“He’s evolved both on and off the ice as a person, as a father, as a human. I think it’s a tribute to the internal drive that he has. I just don’t think he was going to be denied. Everybody aspires to be as good as he’s become, and not all of us get there. So it’s unique that he’s able to ascend to that level.”

Sweeney added that Bergeron is one of Marchand’s best friends and anticipates the new captain leaning on him as a resource throughout the Bruins’ upcoming centennial season.

Featured image via Dan Hamilton/USA TODAY Sports Images