The 2014 NHL Entry Draft is fast approaching and the Columbus Blue jackets have the 16th overall pick. Right now it is unpredictable whom they might take – people could say one thing, and you hear a completely different thing somewhere else. But fortunately, I may be able to shine some light on who the Jackets may pick up.
Dylan Larkin – blessed with good wheels and engaging in a scrappy attack – is the name creating some buzz come the 16th pick in the draft. Larkin forces the pace of the match to uncomfortable levels for opposing defenders, plays a north-south game, battles hard, and drives the net with a purpose bringing the same intensity shift after shift. At the next level, it is suspected that he won’t be a top-line player, but he certainly projects himself as a two-way forward who can make an impact in all three zones.
In 2011-12 Larkin was named the Captain of his team Belle Tire’s U16, playing 27 games before suffering a season ending ankle injury that November. During that span, Larkin managed to post up 18 goals and 18 assists along with 24 penalty minutes. Later that year Larkin was in contact with the University of Michigan, and has committed to play for the school come 2014-15.
In 2012-13, Larkin was selected for the USA National Team Development program in Ann Arbor. Larkin skated for USA Hockey’s U17 team in his first season with the NTDP, and in 55 games he scored 13 goals and registered 14 assists.
The following year, Larkin returned to skate for the NTDP’s U18 team in his second season in Ann Arbor, and was selected to participate in the 2013 CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game in September 2013.
The website “Future Considerations” who take an in-depth look at draft prospects had a lot of positives to say about Larkin.
“Larkin has shown he can be an elite-level power forward in addition to showing a high level of offensive ability. His ability to take the puck hard to the net allows for unique scoring chances most players would not be able get because of a lack of size and strength.
Here’s a look at what Larkin brings to the table.
Larkin can fit into the lineup here in Columbus and in my opinion find success within the organization. I guess only time will tell – and again this is only speculation – but do not be surprised if the Jackets select Larkin in the first round this June.
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