Hello everyone! I had an idea that, because it's the off season and not much is happening, that we can drum up some discussion of our clubs younger players or prospects that others might not know about. I mean, we all know Connor "Jesus" McDavid and Jack Eichel but what about some guys that are still developing? Your favorite prospect still getting some seasoning in the AHL? Let's talk about some of the guys in the past few drafts who might be making a huge impact for your club soon or in a few years!
As a Wings fan, the hype train is slammed to full throttle on Dylan Larkin. To go over his last three years I'll reference HF's recap of him:
2012-13: Larkin skated for USA Hockey’s U17 team in his first season with the NTDP in Ann Arbor. In 55 games he scored 13 goals with 14 assists and had 54 penalty minutes. He had 1 goal with 1 assist in four games as the USA finished first in the 2012 Four Nations Tournament in Switzerland. The USA finished third in the 2013 U17 World Hockey Challenge with Larkin scoring 2 goals with 5 assists in six games. Larkin had 3 goals in four games for the third-place USA squad at the 2013 U17 Five Nations Tournament in Finland. Larkin was a fourth round selection (132nd overall) of Vityaz Podolsk in the 2013 KHL Draft.
2013-14: Larkin returned to Ann Arbor to skate for the National Team Development Program’s U18 squad and was selected to participate in the 2013 CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game in September 2013. He was the NTDP U18 team’s fourth-leading scorer and was an assistant captain for the USA at the 2014 U18 World Juniors. Larkin scored 31 goals, trailing only team leader Jack Eichel (38), and had 25 assists, finishing +23 with 56 penalty minutes in 60 games for the NTDP team. In six games at the WJC he scored 2 goals with 2 assists and was +3 with 2 penalty minutes. The USA defeated the Czech Republic, 5-2, in the gold medal game. Larkin was ranked 17th amongst North American skaters in the Central Scouting final rankings and was selected by Detroit in the first round (15th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.
2014-15: Larkin was the second-leading scorer for the University Michigan as a freshman behind senior Zach Hyman (Florida). He scored 15 goals with 32 assists and was +18 with 38 penalty minutes. The Wolverines finished third in the Big Ten Conference, advancing to the league championship game by defeating second-place Michigan State, 4-1, in the semifinals. Michigan lost to Minnesota, 4-2, in the championship game and did not receive an NCAA tournament bid.
Wings fans are pretty excited for what he is projected to be for the team. Heis a prototypical Red Wings forward who has great vision on ice, can move and handle the puck very well, and good on his skates. He'll likely spent most of the season playing for the Red Wings AHL affiliate the Grand Rapids Griffins, and possibly be called up from time to time depending on injuries and how other players shake out. Everyone feels like he could make the NHL team if it weren't for the depth of prospects the team has backed up and have been developing. The common thought is that he will be better served getting top 6 minutes in the AHL with a bit of NHL play as opposed to being bottom 6 or a healthy scratch in Detroit. New head coach Jeff Blashill says if he isn't ready for the NHL "He's certainly close."
So who are you guys excited for to develop on your teams?