Detroit Red Wings rookie Dylan Larkin has been one of the most pleasant surprises of the NHL season. With the arrival of top prospects Connor McDavid and former teammate Jack Eichel, Larkin came into the season a little more under-the-radar. However, he's been one of the league's best rookies to date and on Sunday became the first of the NHL freshmen to reach double-digits in goals.
Larkin got his 10th of the season thanks to a rather brutal giveaway by Florida Panthers forward (and usually sure-handed) Aleksander Barkov. The errant pass gave Larkin an open look at Roberto Luongo and Larkin beat the veteran netminder clean.
It wasn't until after Larkin performed extremely well at the Men's World Championship last spring that it became apparent he belonged in the NHL. He signed his entry-level contract on May 21 with just enough time to join the Grand Rapids Griffins for a few AHL playoff games.
The move has been the absolute right one not only for Larkin, but also the Red Wings who have greatly benefited from his performance this season.
He is second on the team with 18 points and third among all NHL rookies. However, of the top five players in rookie scoring this year, Larkin is the only one who has yet to reach his 20th birthday. And as noted, no rookie has as many goals as the 19-year-old who now owns a two-goal cushion on the field.