#5: Detroit Red Wings captain and forward Dylan Larkin
Lastly, in this grouping of five is a Detroit Red Wings player that not many would expect to be on this list. Captain Dylan Larkin is someone that fans should 100% keep an eye on. Being pretty cut and dry, it has not been the start to a captaincy that Larkin would have hoped for, but he can turn things around.
Not to mention that injury troubles have made things even harder on him. Last season he spent time on the injured reserve when Jamie Benn ended his season early with an ugly hit. There has been frustration and certainly some questionable leadership from Larkin.
The production has been more of a second-line center. (Somewhere, Bob Heyrman is reading this scoffing at me for stealing his opinion, sorry Bob, but it’s true.) Now that the 2021-22 season is here, there should be an expectation that Larkin is going to be able to step up in more ways than one.
He should be expected to score more, add more offense, and be a producer on the offensive side of things. But also, Larkin should be expected to truly be a leader and start setting a precedent for this team and its players as they begin to turn a corner, hopefully.
In 2020-21, Larkin would log 44 games where he had just nine goals and 14 assists for 23 total points. While this offense did need some kickstarting, Larkin should be expected to produce more, and this season the organization should be expecting some results.
Fans should keep an eye on the captain as he embarks on another season. Frankly, all five of these players are ones to watch. This season should be a fun one for fans as they start to look like a more competitive hockey team, game-by-game.