One of the top prospects in hockey going overlooked with the hype around McDavid, Eichel, and even Austom Matthews is Dylan Larkin of the Detroit Red Wings. The Big Ten rookie of the year has been debating whether to go pro or return to the Michigan Wolverines following a terrific showing at the IIHF tournament in Prague.
It appears the Wings prospect has chosen to go pro.
According to TSN’s Aaron Ward, Larkin will soon announce his departure from Michigan and will join the American Hockey League. He will be given an amateur try out with the Grand Rapids Griffins, the affiliate of the Red Wings.
The Griffins are the lower seed for the upcoming AHL western conference finals against the Utica Comets, the affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks. They knocked off the Oklahoma City Barons this week and will open the western finals on Sunday.
Helen St James reported the Red Wings were close to signing Larkin to a three year deal with the organization. The 18 year old was the 15th overall pick in the 2014 NHL entry draft.
On Thursday afternoon, shortly after the reports, the Wings made the signing official. Assuming things go well with the try out, Larkin will be able to join the Griffins just in time for their playoff series against Utica.
Larkin impressed in Prague, which had to be part of his decision to go pro. He led the team with seven points in the five games played by USA, proving he could handle high level competition. He was second on Michigan’s roster with 47 points and was tied for first with 32 assists.
The Michigan native also played with the USA developmental team in Ann Arbor, Michigan, also the home of the Wolverines, before he joined his college team. He was second on the team in the 2013-2014 season with 56 total points.
If Larkin impresses in this series with the Griffins, it is reasonable to think he will compete for a spot on the NHL roster next season. He has proven he can play against the pros and other than Jack Eichel, was the talk of the tournament for the Americans.
The Griffins will head to Utica where they will face a stacked Comets roster in their journey towards the Calder Cup. They will return home to Grand Rapids on Thursday, May 28th, where fans in Michigan can get a look at their newest top prospect.
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