A talented, multi-faceted forward who will likely be grooming his skills in the State Which Shall Not Be Named, Dylan Larkin's game is sufficiently balanced to be intriguing.
Current Team: University of Michigan, NCAA
Date of Birth: July 30, 1996
Place of Birth: Detroit, Michigan, USA
Weight: 192 lbs
Dylan Larkin is not the first name that comes up when talking about the 2014 NHL Draft, but it's fair to say that he likely deserves higher mention than the #17 ranking in the NHL Central Scouting rankings or the #15 slot in the ISS listings. Maybe there's a discount because of his commitment to the Michigan Wolverines, which could make him unavailable to the NHL for an indeterminate number of years. (The Erie Otters hold his OHL rights, but that is an unlikely route for the Michigan native).
When you review what has been written and said about Larkin, the one word that keeps coming up is "complete". He does it all -- skates well, scores at virtually a point per game pace (48-34-82 in 86 games between the USHL and the USDP this year), plays responsibly in all zones, and knows how to use his 6 foot, 190 pound frame to physical advantage. Don't believe me? Here's what Michigan's coaching staff had to say about the guy they are calling the "centerpiece" of their incoming class:
He's a world class skater. . . He'll be a high draft pick. He has a good head for the game, great offensive instincts. High IQ. --- Michigan Assistant Coach Brian Wiseman
He's a throwback -- he gets the puck and goes with it . . .but the thing I like is he competes hard . . .you notice him every shift. He has the offensive skills to be a great player, the speed, and he's continuing to grow his game. ---Michigan Head Coach Red Berenson
Believe me now?
A Good Fit in Columbus?
Larkin is only 17 years old, and the graveyards are filled with the bones of scouts who staked their careers on some 17-year old stud, only to find out that he had peaked, or that the time-honored diversions of college life prevailed over hockey discipline. Still, by all accounts he has a maturity and a well-rounded game that belies his youth. He's going to a solid college program, where he should see plenty of ice time. So, the ingredients are there.
With his rankings and college plans, Larkin could well be available when the Blue Jackets pick in the #16 slot. Figure a minimum of two years of college and a year in the AHL, and you'll have a kid about to turn 21, likely with 10 more pounds of muscle on his frame, and a wealth of experience under his belt. A well rounded, fast forward with size is always welcome on NHL ice, and Columbus is just a short drive from his home turf. It could happen.
Larkin in Action