BostonBruins.com — Standing in front of a locker room stall of the Bruins’ practice rink, and pushing to put his now patented schnoz in front of the camera, a 20-year-old Brad Marchand pipes in with an answer to an interview question.
Marchand is in the Bruins’ organization, but he is not yet a Bruin.
The fellow prospect that he’s jockeying in front of to get into the view of the camera is Levi Nelson. The pixelated video tells enough about the years that have gone by since it was filmed.
“It was a very tough day — it was great to get out and see the level of talent that we were up against. There’s a lot of great guys, great draft picks this year, a couple great free agents, and all the boys back from last year,” says the young Marchand.
“It was tough, but a lot of fun.”
At the time, Marchand is just a mere two years away from being lovingly dubbed ‘Nose Face Killah’ and hoisting the Stanley Cup, but he is also still young enough to be only two years removed from being drafted.
Marchand didn’t attend that draft in 2006. He was in his native Nova Scotia when he received the news that he was selected 71st overall in the third round by the Boston Bruins.
This is two seasons later. The 2008 Marchand is yet to turn pro. He has just finished up what would be his final season of juniors in 2007-08. That year, he racked up a combined 31 goals and 73 points with the Val d’Or Foreurs and Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
In fact, his 2006 QMJHL Championship win with Moncton would still be fresh in his mind. So would those back-to-back gold medals with Team Canada at World Juniors in 2007 and 2008.
He was young and outgoing, fiery both on and off the ice (of course, not much has changed in that regard).
The next season, in 2008-09, he would debut in the Black & Gold with the Spoked-P on his chest. He would put up 18 goals and 41 assists for 59 points in his first professional hockey season with Providence.
In October of 2009, he would suit up in his first NHL game — a 3-2 win over the Nashville Predators on Oct. 21 — and earn his first assist, setting up Michael Ryder just 26 seconds into the second period.
But this is all still a year and a half away.
This is Marchand’s second Boston Bruins Development Camp, which just so happens to be the organization’s second one overall. Don Sweeney started the camp a year prior in 2007.
“Last year [camp] was real tough,” says Marchand, assessing the week. “We had two ice times, two workouts a day, our bodies really got beat up by the end of the week.”
“I think they wanted to slow that down and really bring the best out of the guys every time we stepped on the ice, every workout. We only have one ice time, one workout a day. It’s a lot of fun still.”
“We’re trying to really get to know each other this time around, I think, a lot of team-building activities. We’re really trying to get a close-knit group and it’s going great so far.”
That budding Marchand had potential.
Each development camp, the Bruins’ management and coaches sit atop the stands at Ristuccia Arena, the B’s practice rink in Wilmington, Mass., watching closely as their draft picks compete. The same holds true a few months later at training camp.
What would they notice about Marchand?
“I remember sitting up there when Marchand started, ‘He’s not big enough, he won’t take the hit,’” Bruins Owner, Mr. Jeremy Jacobs, recently said. “And look where he is.”
“That is always an interesting process,” Jacobs said. “[With] Marchand, we were sitting up, watching him function and having the brain trust saying he’s not big enough, he’s not this, only to see him become a tremendous player — that was a real plus.”
Fast forward to 2016.
At 27 years old, Marchand is sitting in a locker room at TD Garden, watching the 2008 version of himself on video doing the aforementioned interview. He laughs the whole way through. It’ was so long ago. But it also feels like yesterday.
“It’s pretty great to look back on that,” he smiles. “I just remember even going through that interview and how excited I was to be part of the organization and to be there.”
“You’re in a moment where you’re realizing your dream is coming true. It’s crazy to look back and see how long ago that was. It’s been a while, and lots of great memories have come from that.”
At 27, Marchand has accomplished much.
He has won the Stanley Cup. He has hit the 20-goal mark five times in his career, with his lone full-time season not hitting the mark coming during the shortened lockout season in 2012-13.
In 2015-16, he reached his first 30-goal campaign, putting up 37 goals, with 18 of those tallies giving the Bruins a lead in a game. He finished the season sixth overall in the NHL in goals.
He has become a longtime linemate of Patrice Bergeron on the Bruins’ go-to line, after spending his initial time in Boston on the fourth line.
Marchand has become a leader, and still feels he and his Spoked-B teammates have a ways to go.
“When the players have been on board with that and been patient with their own personal development, then it really works and your team is successful as a result of that,” General Manager Don Sweeney said at the end of the 2015-16 season, referencing Marchand and other Bruins.
Just as Marchand kept at it early on, he continues to grind.
In July of 2008, development camp was an eye-opening experience for the winger. He made friends, some he’s been able to play with ever since, like Adam McQuaid. He learned what it means to be a Bruin, and what it takes to stick in the NHL. He also learned along the way to be himself, and that makes looking back at the 2008 interview all the more worthwhile.
His accolades have changed, and his on-ice play has improved, but he's still "Marchy being Marchy."
The 2016 Boston Bruins Development Camp, presented by AT&T, will take place from July 12-15, at Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington, Mass. All on-ice sessions are open to the public, with the camp’s roster to be announced at a later date. For the latest information on current Bruins prospects, bookmark BostonBruins.com/prospects.