In celebration of the Boston Bruins’ 100th season, NESN is dedicating an episode of the “Ultimate Bruins Show” to each member of the Bruins All-Centennial team. Tune in Thursday at 6 p.m. ET as we honor Phil Esposito.

When discussing the best goal scorers in the history of the National Hockey League, Phil Esposito’s name has to be in the conversation.

His prolific goal-scoring earned him the Art Ross trophy five times and the Hart Memorial twice along with two Stanley Cup championships during his time in Boston. That’s why he was selected to the Bruins All-Centennial Team comprised of the 20 most legendary players in franchise history. Learn more about Esposito’s selection on NESN’s “Ultimate Bruins Show” on Thursday night at 6 p.m. ET.

Esposito’s knack for scoring goals was almost a given that no matter where he was on the ice, the puck would somehow find its way to the back of the net. It was so common that the slogan, “Jesus Saves! Esposito scores on the rebound!” was born during the nine years he sported the Spoked-B for Boston in the 1970s. In the 1970-71 season, Esposito fired an NHL-record 550 shots on goal — he lit the lamp 76 times in 78 games.

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“I’ll never forget Bobby Hull saying to me, ‘If you don’t hit the net, you can’t score. Force the goalie to make the save,'” Esposito told NESN. “There’s something that I practiced and practiced, and that’s why the only record I’ve got left is 550 shots. I scored 76 goals. I was a shooting machine. There was no doubt about me shooting the puck and no doubt about me getting in on the net.”

Following his 76-goal performance, Esposito would score 50-plus goals in each of the next four seasons, including 60-plus in three. Esposito ranks second in all-time Bruins history with 459 goals, sixth in assists (553), fourth in points (1012) and third in game-winning goals (77). He was the first NHL player to record 100 points in a season in 168-69 when he potted 49 goals and 77 helpers for 126 points. He would eclipse the 100-point mark five more times in a Bruins uniform.

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In the 1975-76 season, Esposito, along with Carol Vadnais was traded to the New York Rangers in exchange for Brad Park, Jean Ratelle and Joe Zanussi.

“For me, putting on that black jersey with the B was the ultimate,” Esposito said of his time in Boston. “I felt strong. I felt powerful. … When I put the Bruins jersey on, the black one especially, and I see that ‘B’ … I felt infallible. That’s how much I loved playing for the Bruins.”

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One of his most memorable moments came after his playing days were over and the Bruins decided to honor Esposito with the greatest honor — retiring his No. 7 high above the ice in the rafter of the old Boston Garden in 1987.

In one of the most surprising and classiest moments in sports history, Ray Bourque, who was sporting the No. 7 for Boston at the time, skated over to Esposito in what was supposed to be a presentation, but instead, Bourque surrendered his No. 7 jersey to Esposito and showed off his new number — 77.

“When he took the jersey off and he handed it to me, he said, ‘This is yours, big fella, and it always should’ve been yours and nobody else’s,'” Esposito said. “I was taken aback. … I was like oh my God. I’ll tell you what, what an incredible night.”

Esposito was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1984 after playing 18 years in the NHL. He amassed 717 goals and 873 assists for 1,590 points over 1,282 games.

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Featured image via Dick Raphael/ USA TODAY Sports Images