While the hockey world have their eyes glued to how Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel will perform, another prospect has emerged who deserves just as much attention. Dylan Larkin, a Detroit Red Wings prospect, has been on the rise for the past year. He has left the University of Michigan and will be competing for a spot on the Red Wings roster.
Larkin got his first taste of pro hockey this year when he joined the American Hockey League Grand Rapids Griffins for their playoff run. The Griffins fell shot in the western conference finals where they lost to the Utica Comets, but Larkin had a chance to compete at that level and see how he fit in.
Part of Larkin’s decision to go pro instead of playing college also had to do with his time with Team USA this early summer. Larkin was a part of the United States team that competed in the Czech Republic where he played well, along with Eichel.
Corey Pronman from ESPN ranked Larkin 10th in the top 100 prospects, where he leapt 89 spots from last season.
“Larkin had a simply fantastic season,” Pronman wrote. “He was a dominant two-way player as a freshman at Michigan, one of the top players at the World Juniors, earned an invite to USA’s World Championship team and played top-six minutes in the AHL — all in his first season after being drafted.
“Larkin is an explosive skater with above-average hands, very good all-around hockey sense, and a great motor. He’s not a super flashy player, but he’s super effective every shift. His combination of size and speed is a handful for defensemen to contain.”
The 19 year old Larkin should have a shot to make the Red Wings roster out of training camp. He scored three goals in six games with the Griffins during their playoff series, and there is a chance he at least starts the season out again at Grand Rapids.
One way or another, Larkin has emerged as one of the best prospects in the games. The eyes of the hockey world have been elsewhere, but its time to keep an eye on Detroit.