Dylan Larkin (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
It's early, but Dylan Larkin is already beginning to establish himself in the NHL as a consistent scoring threat.
The Detroit Red Wings' rookie forward has played only five games, but he has at least a point in each one of them.
On Friday, he became the first Wings rookie to ever record a point in the first four games of a season with an assist in a 5-3 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. On Saturday, he extended that record to five with Detroit's only goal in a 4-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens.
The 15th overall pick in the 2014 NHL draft had a two-point game in his debut on Oct. 9, a 4-0 Red Wings win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. His two points included his first NHL goal on a wrist shot that he roofed blocker side on Leafs goalie Jonathan Bernier.
Larkin also collected single assists in wins over the Hurricanes and Tampa Bay Lightning on Oct. 10 and Oct. 13, respectively.
Earlier this month, the 19-year-old achieved the rarity of making the Red Wings roster as a teenager out of camp instead of starting with Detroit’s AHL affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins. The Wings are known for grooming their prospects in the AHL with much more patience than most teams.
He finished the 2014-15 season by playing in six playoff games with the Griffins, recording three goals and two assists. That followed a 47-point freshman campaign with the University of Michigan Wolverines during which he led all Big Ten Conference first-year players in goals, assists and points.
“If he didn’t grab the job, the easier thing to do would be to put (him) in GR (Grand Rapids) and see where it goes,” Detroit head coach Jeff Blashill told The Detroit News’ Ted Kulfan after training camp. “But I personally felt he makes us better and to such an amount that we felt he should start on the team.
“Ask people around the league and they might say the safer thing would be to put him in GR. But we feel he’s earned that spot.”
So far, so good.
The Dylan Larkin Show continues on Wednesday, Oct. 21 when the Wings visit the Edmonton Oilers.