The road to being captain of an NHL team is rarely a smooth, straight-line transition.

It demands skill and will, productivity and patience. It requires the ability to lead with on-ice performance and in-room respect. It’s the ultimate honour for those who have overcome obstacles, learned from their peers and maintained a humble nature driven by an incredible work ethic.

It’s why the 24-year-old Bo Horvat became the Vancouver Canucks’ 14th captain during a pre-game ceremony Wednesday at Rogers Arena. He checks all the boxes. He always has.

When former captain Henrik Sedin handed the centre a new jersey stitched with the ‘C’ before the Canucks played the Los Angeles Kings, it was more than passing the leadership torch. It was the culmination of a long and twisting road for Horvat, who has always exceeded expectations and embraced every challenge.