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Detroit Red Wings Player Grades: Dylan Larkin

NHL: Ottawa Senators at Detroit Red Wings Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Player Profile:

Born: 7/30/1996 Waterford, MI

Height/Weight: 6’1/198 lbs.

Position: Forward

Contract: RFA

Player Stats:

GP: 82

Goals: 16

Assists: 47

Points: 63

Season Narrative

Dylan Larkin started his first NHL Season with 45 points, then he had the dreaded sophomore slump dipping to 32 points last season. This year, Larkin had a breakout season dispelling any doubt that he can play in this league and be an impact player.

Larkin posted career highs in assists (47) and points (63). While the 16 goals he scored was the lowest of his career so far, he is becoming an all around player, racking up enough assists to lead the team in scoring; even without that many goals. He was consistent in providing offense for the Red Wings besides a four game point less streak in January.

On most nights, Larkin was the best or one of the best players on the ice. Sometimes it’s hard to forget that he is only 21.

What He Did vs. Expectations

The expectation for Larkin was to rebound this season and show he can be the NHL player that everyone hoped he would be, and he passed with flying colors. Since last season was a step back, Larkin clearly worked hard in the offseason and did the little things to improve his game, leading to a 31 point improvement. While we would all like to see Larkin get back over that 20 goal mark like he did in his rookie year, it is great to see him contributing in all aspects of the game.

Larkin has the awareness needed to get back quickly on defense, while showing he can and will be the future number one center on the team for a long time. This year defensively was an important step for his development.

Larkin is a restricted free agent and going forward the expectation for him will remain high, and only keep climbing. Many Red Wings fans would love to see Larkin get the “C” when Henrik Zetterberg retires. He is a future captain in waiting, although he may have to wait behind Justin Abdelkader. It will be fun to watch Larkin play when the team turns things around and he is leading the way to playoff success.

Final Grade: A

Larkin did everything one could ask of him this season. He improved his game on the defensive side, and is now someone you have no concern about being on the ice in key situations. He is, considering the teams record, that electric player we have expected. He doesn’t like to lose and, while he showed it, Larkin didn’t let it have a negative impact on his game.

Making the full time move back to center after being on the wing most of last season could have posed other players more problems, but Larkin adapted quickly. His full time move to center resulted in Larkin taking 1,314 faceoffs this season up from 432 last season. He also had his best faceoff percentage of his career at 49.92%, which is a key improvement for the young center (up about four percentage points from last season). In time, the Red Wings obviously would like that number to continue to improve into the mid-to-high 50s, on par with the elite face-off takers in the league.

What Grade Should Dylan Larkin Receive?


What Grade Should Dylan Larkin Receive?

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