Where Will Detroit Red Wings Prospect Larkin be Next Season?


Detroit Red Wings prospect and 2014 first round NHL draft pick Dylan Larkin is only 18 years-old. By the start of the next NHL season he will only be 19. When the preseason starts the team will have to decide what happens with Larkin; will he be playing in Detroit or staying in Grand Rapids.

Larkin played his freshman season at the University of Michigan before playing with the USA team at the 2015 IIHF World Championships. After the tournament he made the choice to start his professional career and went to the Griffins.

At U of M Larkin was the breakout freshman on the team. He netted 15 goals with 32 assists in 35 games. With team USA at Worlds, he played in 10 games and recorded an assist. Team USA won the Bronze medal.

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Throughout the tournament Red Wings fans waited to see where Larkin would go. Some thought he might spend one more season with the Wolverines and others thought he might make the move to the pros, which he ultimately did.

Larkin played 6 games with the Griffins. There he lit up and showed what he could do in the pros. He scored 3 goals along with 2 assists before the Griffins were eliminated by the Utica Comets in the Semi Finals of the Calder Cup Playoffs.

So what would be the best choice for the young Larkin?

Going to the Red Wings would make Larkin more than likely the youngest player on the team. That being their first round pick this years draft isn’t on the team. Most Red Wings draft picks usually spend at least one season with the Griffins before they come to the team. Riley Sheahan spent 3 seasons with Grand Rapids before he spent an entire season with the Red Wings.

He would be the first, 1st round draft pick since Jiri Fischer in 1998 draft, to come to the Red Wings without playing at least 50 plus games in one season with the AHL team. Since Fischer in 98 the team has only had 7 first round picks and of those, only three players selected in those spots are playing full-time with the team; Niklas Kronwall, Brendan Smith and Sheahan.

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Detroit Red Wings

It could be that the Red Wings haven’t had many first round picks in the last 24 years, they have made the playoffs every single one of them, so they tend to pick higher. They have won 4 Stanley Cups and if you at least make it into the playoffs you aren’t getting NHL ready talent.

Most picks go to Grand Rapids and are allowed to grow there until the team needs them and they are called up. It has been called the Red Wings way, and it has worked. Players come up far more developed than some players in other organizations do. They have worked with coaches and played with players, that when being called up doesn’t throw a wrench into the Red Wings plan.

Bringing Larkin up to the Red Wings would go against the Red Wings way when it comes to prospects. However, the kid showed some great potential in his short time in Grand Rapids. This may be a choice by the coaches and management far into the preseason and followed by fans and media as closely as where Mike Babcock would end up was.

Leaving him down in Grand Rapids for one full season can’t hurt him. There, he could develop his skill more, pack on some more muscle and then come into the 16-17 season ready to go for the Red Wings. Yet, then there is the coaching that goes into him. Jeff Blashill is expected to be announced the head coach sometime in the next week. That brings into question, do you want Larkin to continue being coached under him, or get a new coach at the Griffins?

Larkin is also only 18 right now. Being so young and in the NHL isn’t always an easy thing to do. It can be stressful, difficult, you name it. You are expected to act like an adult without anyone watching. At least in the AHL young players tend to have someone watching them. While that doesn’t stop guys from doing stupid things. Take Sheahan driving around plastered with a teammates drivers license back in 2012. Them doing stupid things in the AHL is tad better than them doing it in the NHL.

There are pros and cons to Larkin coming up with the Red Wings. Yet, there are also pros and cons to him staying down with the Griffins. It will be an interesting choice that the team makes.

What do you think the team should do with Larkin? Should they keep him in Grand Rapids for an entire season or bring him up with the big club? Let us know below and don’t forget to stay connected to Detroit Jock City for all your Detroit Red Wings news.

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