clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Dylan Larkin Sees Mike Babcock's Decision to go to the Maple Leafs as an Opportunity

New, comments
Daryl Marshke/Michigan Photography

After the departure of head coach Mike Babcock, the Red Wings found themselves with some very large shoes to fill behind the bench - Shoes they had no question that Jeff Blashill could fit into. Even though the Red Wings have a fine crop of prospects waiting in the junior, and semi-pro level, it's no secret that this organization has been notorious for "over-ripening" their young players over the last decade. With the recent surge of young talent like Riley Sheahan, Tomas Tatar, and Gustav Nyquist (granted they did spend their fair share of time in Grand Rapids), and the aging of core players like Pavel Datsyuk, Johan Franzen, and Henrik Zetterberg - The team is in transition.

Dylan Larkin, the 19-year-old prospect out of Waterford, Michigan is the highest Red Wings draft pick since Martin LaPointe. Since being taken by Detroit at 15th overall, he's been absolute hell on wheels. Succeeding at every level he's played at, Larkin looks to make a push for the Red Wings main roster in 2015. What drove his decision to leave college and sign his entry level contract? The departure of Mike Babcock, as Mike Brophy from NHL.com had reported:

"That is one of the reasons I decided to sign and leave college," Larkin said. "There is a new coach and there seems to be some older players who might be on their way out. I think it is a great opportunity for me to learn from them. Growing up in Detroit you hear so much about those guys. I have watched Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk my whole life, so to be in the same room as them would be an incredible experience."

While Larkin isn't taking a direct shot at Babcock by any means, one thing is clear - Until later in Babcock's tenure with the Red Wings, veterans always had the first look. Not to say that things will be different under Blashill, but the evidence there tells us that there is a good chance the organization will start looking towards their prospects to step up and make the jump to the next level.
"I think I'll be a dominant player all over the ice," Larkin said. "I'll be a player than can play against the other team's top line and can still produce offense. It might take a while, but it does for everyone to become a dominant player."

It's important to remember for both fans, and the player, that opportunities like this aren't handed out. Just because you're the top prospect for the entire team, not to mention one of the tops in the league altogether doesn't mean you will be handed a gift-wrapped roster spot. Dylan Larkin will be expected to compete, and perform for a spot on this team, and if he's anything close to what has been advertised, he will prosper.