The trade deadline has come and gone and Steve Yzerman was very active in his pursuit to build this team for the future. One Detroit Red Wing that was not part of any blockbuster moves was Red Wings Captain and Michigan native, Dylan Larkin. Dylan has been a part of this Red Wings roster from the time he was drafted in 2014. Larkin became the youngest player to start opening night since Mike Sillinger in 1990-1991. Larkin was only 19 years old at the time of his first start. Prior to that, he played one season at the University of Michigan and then decided to forego his remaining three years of college eligibility to start his professional career.
Dylan Larkin’s Pre-NHL Career
While at the University of Michigan, Larkin had 15 goals and 32 assists which lead all-Big Ten Freshmen and was second in the NCAA for freshmen athletes. Larkin made an immediate impact in his short time on the Michigan Wolverines roster. He was a leader on the ice. Larkin had the most points by a Michigan freshman since Brendan Morrison had 48 points during the 1993-1994 season. Dylan then went on to spend limited time in Grand Rapids with the Griffins of the AHL prior to joining the Red Wings. While with the Griffins he played in six postseason games recording three goals and five points. Larkin then made the jump to join the Detroit Red Wings roster in the 2015-2016 season.
Dylan Larkin’s NHL Career
Since joining the Detroit Red Wings, Larkin has never looked back. He recorded his first career NHL goal on October 9, 2015, his very first professional game. In his first NHL season, Larkin played in 80 games and recorded 23 goals and 25 assists for 48 points. The following season Larkin saw his offensive production decline slightly as he only had 17 goals and 15 assists for 32 points. During the following two years, Larkin really saw his point total skyrocket. In the 2017-2018 campaign Larkin had 16 goals, 47 assists, and 63 points. Larkin had his best professional year during the 2018-2019 season recording 32 goals, 41 assists, and 73 points. In 2019-2020 Larkin played in 71 games recording 19 goals, 34 assists, and 53 points prior to the halt of the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, in 34 games Larkin has recorded just 6 goals, 13 assists for a total of 19 points.
While this season has proven to be a slow start for Larkin, there were likely teams picking up the phone and calling Yzerman to see if his Captain was someone that he was willing to part ways with. While we will likely not get that information it was nice to see the Red Wings hang out to their young Captain. He is still young enough to grow and develop into an elite player. As the team rebuilds he will be a much-needed voice in the Red Wings locker room.