2014 NHL Draft Profile #23: Dylan Larkin
Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2014 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Sports is your new headquarters for everything “NHL Draft”! For a Complete Listing of all our 2014 Draft Articles Click here.
While the Sonny Milano, Jack Eichel, and Alex Tuch form the big offensive line for the US NTDP, Dylan Larkin is the key two-way centre on the team’s second line. He matches up against the other team’s best line, while still bringing offensive production to the squad. He started the year off with a bang scoring the only goal of the USHL Top Prospects game in Pittsburgh last September. Larkin would go on to score 17 goals and 26 points in 26 games of USHL action this year, while adding a further 28 goals and 48 points in 51 exhibition games. Larkin is currently playing for the US at the IIHF U18 World Championships where he has picked up one assist in three games. Larkin is committed to the University of Michigan next year, but was also drafted by the Erie Otters of the OHL should he change his mind and decide to go the CHL route. Larkin picked up a bronze medal with the US team at the 2013 U17 Hockey Challenge, scoring seven points in six games.
Centre/Left Wing — shoots Left
Born Jul 30 1996 — Waterford, MI
Height 6.01 — Weight 190 [185 cm/86 kg]
Dylan Larkin is a very strong skater, with strong top end speed, very good acceleration, and a great first step. This enables him to be very effective on the forecheck, as well as to gather loose pucks in all three zones of the ice. Larkin also has outstanding edgework and agility and can be extremely elusive. He has good balance and is very difficult to knock off the puck making him very effective in the cycle game and in battles for pucks along the boards. Larkin should only get better as he adds more muscle to his frame and fleshes out his game in the pros.
Larkin is more of a shooter than a passer, as he has a good wrist shot and strong release. He is also effective at finding open areas for one-timers. Larkin creates offense through straight ahead simple plays, more than from being overly fancy and creative. He makes the smart play though and is willing to go to the net hard. He can be effective with soft hands in tight to bury rebounds and create tip ins. Larkin does have good hockey sense and plays a pro-style game now. He doesn’t make a lot of those little plays that work in junior hockey, but won’t work going forward that are seen from many prospects at his age.
Larkin is extremely advanced defensively for a young player. He knows how to keep his man to the outside and cut down passing and shooting lanes. He backchecks hard, and supports his defence down low against the cycle game. Larkin is more than willing to put his body on the line and block shots. While we don’t have face-off stats, observation shows that he has been good in the circle and wins a lot of draws. Larkin has shown a high compete level in all three zones, but he can be more effective physically as he adds more muscle on his frame.
In terms of style Larkin is reminiscent of Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins. This is just a style comparison and not one on talent. In terms of potential, he could be an effective second line centre, playing against other team’s top lines, providing some offence, and contributing in all three aspects of the game.
Here are some highlights of Dylan Larkin in action:
Check back tomorrow for my number 24 ranked prospect.
For the latest sports injury news, check out our friends at Sports Injury Alert.
Interested in writing for LWOS? We are looking for enthusiastic, talented writers to join our Hockey writing team. Visit our ”Write for Us“ page for very easy details in how you can get started today!