The Detroit Red Wings on Friday night selected two-way center Dylan Larkin 15th overall.
Larkin, a native of Waterford, MI played for the USNTDP Junior Team in 2012-13 and 2013-14, scoring 14 points in 37 games and 26 points in 26 games respectively.
2012-13 saw him also play on the U.S. National U-17 Team, where he scored just 27 points in 55 games. However, last year, he improved those totals to 56 points (31 goals) in 60 games with the U.S. National U-18 Team.
He was ranked 17th by Central Scouting, 14th by International Scouting, and 14th by The Hockey News.
Larkin should feel right at home, having played in Ann Arbor, MI with both the U-17 and U-18 Team. He is also committed to play for the University of Michigan Wolverines, so he seemingly won’t ever have to leave his state.
At the 2013 World U-17 Hockey Challenge, he received a bronze medal after he contributed two goals and five assists in just six games (third best on team). At the 2014 IIHF World U-18 Championships, he was named an assistant captain, and proceeded to help his team win a gold medal by scoring two goals and two assists in six games.
THN projects Larkin as a heart-and-soul forward, and perhaps that’s what the Red Wings organization needs. Craig Button describes him as “Darren Helm with scoring ability,” while Pierre McGuire strongly believes that “he’ll be a captain in the NHL one day.”
TSN grades: “Skating: 5/5; Ice Q: 4/5; Hands 4/5; Shot: 3/5; Compete Level: 5/5. Comparable: Ryan Kesler. Best Asset: Speed; Projection: Strong, #2 two-way center”
He’s got good size with a 6-foot-1, 190 lb frame, so he’ll be able to hold his own at the next level.
Red Wings fans can rest assured that their team made a very smart choice in Round 1 of the 2014 Draft.