We kick off our 2014 NHL Draft coverage today with our first prospect profile; over the next month Defending Big D will be dedicated to covering every aspect of the draft and the Dallas Stars needs and goals heading into the summer.
A look at a two way center from the United States Development Programme: Dylan Larkin
Dylan Larkin: Center, 6'0", 195lbs, Shoots Left
|2012-2013||USNTDP Juniors (USHL)||37||7||7||14||-21||40|
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Dylan Larkin is a powerful two way forward who can move very well on his skates. He uses his skating ability to work his way around defenders and to move quickly and easily around the ice. When Larkin has the puck he generally keeps the puck and is seen as being good possession player.
He makes good decisions with the puck, making the right passes, shooting when needing to and he puts in everything on every shift. He's got a good shoot but he's a pass first player, preferring to pass to his linemates than take the shots himself. Despite not being the biggest forward he can compete along the boards. Instead of delivering bone crunching hits he can peel the puck away from many forwards.
Larkin's main problem is that most players don't think he has the offensive upside compared to other USHL players like Sonny Milano. His most likely potential will be as a good two way centre who shouldn't be relied upon to produce tonnes of points.
There are some scouts who disagree with this assumption but they are still in the minority. Dylan Larkin is committed to the University of Michigan for next year.
Some scouting reports from across the web:
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.
If Schmaltz was the best offensive threat, Larkin was the most complete player on the US side. Playing center, Larkin was effective on both ends of the ice.
Larkin has shown he can be an elite-level power forward in addition to showing a high level of offensive ability. His ability to take the puck hard to the net allows for unique scoring chances most players would not be able get because of a lack of size and strength.