From the fourth-line to the top-line, Brad Marchand has grown as a player both on and off the ice for the Boston Bruins.

The organization recognized the work the 5-foot-9 agitator has put in and rewarded Marchand by naming him the 27th captain in franchise history on Wednesday ahead of the centennial season.

“Since my time in the organization, I’ve had Ray Bourque as captain, Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron. The things that those guys have in common were, not only were they great players — but they worked hard every day and practice and pushed their teammates to work hard,” Bruins president Cam Neely said during the introductory press conference, as seen on NESN. “And Brad does that. He’s learned that, and he’s had some good mentors, for sure. And he’s come a long way in his career, both on and off the ice, maturity wise.”

Marchand has been suspended eight times for a total of 28 games in his career and has been fined five times for antics on the ice. Neely acknowledged that Marchand has stepped into a different role over the last few seasons.

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“I think he’s realized trying to find that fine line of being the player that he wants to be, and controlling his emotions when he needs to,” Neely said. “He’s a very emotional player, so sometimes that gets you in trouble, which it has in the past for him. But he’s done a nice job in the last couple of years, in my opinion, of controlling his emotions a little bit better…while still being able to be that competitive player that we all like and respect with Brad’sgame.”

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Given Marchand’s history, Neely isn’t necessarily surprised by the newly anointed captain’s transformation.

“It goes to his work ethic, his drive and his determination,” Neely said. “To come from where he was, he’s always been a gifted player, but when he first got to Boston, he understood, ‘Ok I’m on the fourth line,’ but in his mind said, ‘I’m not a fourth line player.’

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“But he accepted that role and now you see where he’s at. So, it’s a testament to his drive, his determination, his compete level and what he wants to be as an NHL player.”

Neely may be impressed with Marchand’s growth over the years but the Hall of Fame power forward doesn’t think anyone thought he would ascend to captaincy following Bergeron’s retirement this summer.

“I don’t know if there was a wager out there, probably no one picked that,” Neely joked. “But like I said, he’s earned it. He’s going to be a great leader for us.”

Over the course of 14 years with the Black and Gold, Marchand ranks 10th or better in the all-time lists for Bruins in several categories including 372 goals, 490 assists, 862 points, 72 power-play goals, 71 game-winning goals, 267 even-strength goals and 33 short-handed goals which is the most in team history.

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Heading into the season, Marchand has played 947 games with the Spoked-B on his chest. He needs to suit up for 53 more games to reach the 1,000-game mark. He would join Bergeron, David Krejci and Wayne Cashman to play at least 1,000 games while playing their entire NHL career for the Bruins.

Boston hosts the Chicago Blackhawks in their home opener on Oct. 11. Along with the return of Milan Lucic, Marchand should receive thunderous applause from the Bruins faithful at TD Garden for his first game donning the “C.”

Featured image via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images