Dylan Larkin addresses Babcock comments, talks upcoming season

Photo by Michael Caples/MiHockey
Photo by Michael Caples/MiHockey


By @StefanKubus –

Dylan Larkin skated at Joe Louis Arena Wednesday morning as part of the Red Wings’ informal skates.

With training camp creeping up quickly, the Waterford native is aiming to soon call those he shared the ice with his teammates and The Joe his home arena. Larkin, 19, arguably the most-touted Red Wings prospect in over a decade, and he admitted it’s not always easy to ignore the hype, though he said he’s his own critic, too.

“It’s tough not to, but it’s something I want,” Larkin told the media (quotes via the Red Wings’ Periscope account). “To be on the Detroit Red Wings, I want that really bad, so there’s expectations, but I put expectations on myself, too, so I’d say that’s more pressure on myself.”

Larkin said he’s fortunate he can strictly focus on hockey now, while also providing a reminder of just how young he is in the process.

“All my friends go back to school, they had their first day of school yesterday,” Larkin said. “It’s good not to have to worry about that. For me, especially, I love hockey. It’s all I really wanted to do since I was a little kid, so to get this chance is awesome.”

Perhaps his biggest asset heading into training camp is having experienced a taste of the pros following his freshman season at the University of Michigan. Following his 35-game freshman campaign that saw him net 15 goals and 47 points, good for second in the entire Big Ten behind only senior teammate Zach Hyman, Larkin skated in six playoff games with Grand Rapids, tallying five points.

“It’s huge, to spend time there and learn how to be a pro and what to expect coming into to camp,” Larkin said. “I know all those guys coming into camp, there’ll be familiar faces and to play for Blash was huge, so it was a great experience.”

He has also fared well on the international stage, too, whether it was the 2015 World Junior Championship – where he was arguably Team USA’s top player – or at the 2015 World Championship in May with full-time NHLers.

So what’s his secret?

“Just having fun,” Larkin said. “People say that, but it’s huge. Going to the rink every day, media’s not in there before practice, so you can focus on practice, not think about whatever, just play hockey. For me, that’s huge. Ever since I was a little kid, I was like that.”

Despite recent reports that suggested he decided to turn pro because Mike Babcock had left town, Larkin took a moment to clarify that his words were twisted and say, rather, it was the opportunity for a fresh start where there’s a clean slate for most of the locker room that appealed most.

“I’ve been reading the past few days, they said I signed just because Babcock left is twisting my words,” Larkin said. “They asked if that was one of the factors, I said, yeah with Blash coming in, I feel like it’s a new opportunity. It’s not everything, and I think with my abilities and the player I want to be, I think I can help the Detroit Red Wings, so my words were twisted a little bit there, but it happens.”

But even before training camp begins, Larkin will participate in the prospect tournament in Traverse City this weekend.

“It’s kind of crazy our season is already stating, we play a game Friday. I think we’re gonna have a good team with some of the guys who have already been through there, (Anthony) Mantha, (Andreas Athanasiou), (Tyler) Bertuzzi, so it’s a pretty good lineup we have, so I’m excited about it.”