DETROIT – Detroit Red Wings forward Dylan Larkin has been named the 2015-16 Red Wings Rookie of the Year by the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association in a unanimous decision.
The 19-year-old Larkin made an immediate impact with the Red Wings this season, becoming the first teenager to play for the team since Jiri Hudler in 2003-04 and the first to crack the opening night lineup since Mike Sillinger in 1990-91. Larkin notched his first NHL goal and assist during his debut on Oct. 9 vs. Toronto and went on to be named the NHL’s Rookie of the Month in November. He ultimately finished among the league’s rookie leaders with 23 goals (T3rd), 22 assists (11th), 45 points (6th), a plus-11 rating (T5th), five game-winning goals (T2nd), 221 shots on goal (2nd) and 16:32 average time on ice (5th among forwards).
“It was an exciting year for me personally, being able to wear the winged wheel and skate alongside great players who I grew up watching,” said Larkin. “I’d like to thank the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association for this honor and to the fans of Hockeytown for all the support this season. Playing for the Red Wings was a dream come true, and I’m looking forward to working hard this summer to get better for next season.”
Larkin led the Red Wings in goals, plus-minus, game-winning goals and shots on goal, joining an exclusive group that includes four former DSBA Red Wings Rookie of the Year winners of rookies to lead Detroit in goal-scoring: Mike Foligno (1979-80), Dale McCourt (1977-78), Michel Bergeron (1975-76), Tom Webster (1970-71) and Carl Liscombe (1937-38). He also became just the third Red Wings rookie to be selected to the NHL All-Star Game, joining Steve Yzerman (1984) and Reed Larson (1978). Larkin broke a skills-competition record that had stood since before he was born, as his 13.172 lap time in the NHL’s fastest skater competition bested Mike Gartner’s record from the 1996 NHL All-Star Weekend. He recently represented the United States at the 2016 IIHF World Championship in Russia and produced nine points (2-7-9) in 10 games.
Originally drafted by the Red Wings in the first round (15th overall) of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, Larkin spent the 2014-15 campaign at the University of Michigan and finished second among all NCAA freshman in scoring, picking up 47 points (15-32-47) in 35 games. He earned national recognition as an NCAA Second-Team All-American and was also named Big Ten Freshman of the Year, First-Team All-Big Ten and was tabbed to the All-Big Ten Rookie Team. The Waterford, Mich., native also represented the United States at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship in Toronto and Montreal and at the 2015 IIHF World Championship in Prague, Czech Republic, prior to signing his first professional contract in May 2015. Prior to his collegiate career, Larkin spent two seasons with the U.S. National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, Mich., and won a gold medal at the 2014 IIHF Under-18 World Championship.
Larkin will be honored by the DSBA prior to a Red Wings home game during the 2016-17 season. The DSBA Red Wings Rookie of the Year Award dates back to the 1948-49 NHL season. Previous recipients of the award include current Red Wings Pavel Datsyuk, Danny DeKeyser, Jonathan Ericsson, Johan Franzen, Jimmy Howard, Niklas Kronwall, Petr Mrazek, Gustav Nyquist and Henrik Zetterberg.