Well, that was fast.
Detroit Red Wings top prospect Dylan Larkin waited all of two games to get his name on the professional score sheet and he did so with two goals – the first two professional goals of his career – as the Grand Rapids Griffins downed the Utica Comets 4-2 and tied the AHL Western Conference final 1-1.
Larkin, who has generated significant buzz as one of Detroit’s next great prospects, signed his first professional contract, an entry-level deal, last Thursday. He suited up for his first professional game Sunday evening. And by Monday, he was taking home first star honors as the Griffins move one win closer to their second Calder Cup final in three seasons.
Larkin was the 10th ranked prospect in The Hockey News’ Future Watch issue and the second ranked Red Wings prospect in the issue. Before his NCAA season had ended there was speculation that Detroit would seek to turn him pro, but it’s hard to believe that the 18-year-old is already finding the back of the net.
His experience at the World Championship, where he suited up for Team USA, certainly helped his game, but watching his two goals back shows that he knows where to find open ice and that there’s reason to be excited about Larkin potentially cracking the Red Wings lineup as soon as next season. And if Jeff Blashill becomes the Detroit bench boss for 2015-16, he’s getting a first-hand look at what Larkin can bring. That can only bode well for the youngster.
Larkin will attempt to build off of his big Game 2 when the series shifts back to Grand Rapids Thursday evening.