Dylan Larkin (Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images)
Detroit Red Wings rookie Dylan Larkin is top-five in rookie scoring thanks to his speed and creativity. First, Larkin blew by Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson and then used netminder Craig Anderson’s attempt to read the play against him.
When it comes to the play of rookies this season, most of the early praise went to Edmonton’s Connor McDavid, while Chicago’s Artemi Panarin, who leads all rookies with 18 points, has taken the bulk of the headlines since McDavid went down with an injury. But Detroit’s Dylan Larkin is keeping himself in the conversation, and he put himself into the top-five in rookie scoring Monday night.
Larkin has been a big boost for a Red Wings roster that needed an injection of youth, and Monday he showed off his incredible speed and made Ottawa Senators Norris Trophy-winning defenseman Erik Karlsson look like a bottom-pairing blueliner. After picking the puck up in the neutral zone, Larkin turned on the jets, took the puck wide, evaded Karlsson’s attempt at a hit and then scored by taking advantage of a cheating Craig Anderson:
Larkin’s goal was his fifth of the season, putting him in a tie for seventh among rookie goal scorers, but it was also his 12th point of the campaign, which puts him in a four-way tie for third in points by a rookie.
Making the Red Wings was a big deal for Larkin, especially in Detroit. Not since Mike Sillinger in 1990 had a teenaged player suited up for the Red Wings on opening night, and Larkin has rewarded the faith of GM Ken Holland and coach Jeff Blashill. Larkin’s 12 points are tied for second-most on the Red Wings and only three back of Henrik Zetterberg’s team-leading 15 points.
Larkin made a big impact in the NCAA in 2014-15, scoring 15 goals and 47 points in his first campaign at the collegiate level. He also headed to the World Junior Championship, where he scored five goals and seven points in five games with Team USA. Drafted 15th overall by Detroit in 2014, Larkin got his first taste of pro hockey in the AHL post-season, where he contributed three goals and five points in six games with the then-Blashill coached Grand Rapids Griffins.