Bob Duff: Dylan Larkin to make NHL debut against Leafs

 

 
 
 
 
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 27:  Dylan Larkin is selected fifteenth overall by the Detroit Red Wings in the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft at the Wells Fargo Center on June 27, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 486532375
 

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 27: Dylan Larkin is selected fifteenth overall by the Detroit Red Wings in the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft at the Wells Fargo Center on June 27, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 486532375

As big a night as it is for Dylan Larkin, the Detroit Red Wings rookie forward realizes he won’t be the main story Friday as the Wings open the NHL regular season against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Joe Louis Arena.

“It’s pretty exciting, home opener,” Larkin said. “Playing against Toronto and (former Wings) coach (Mike) Babcock is going to be exciting, there’s going to be a real buzz.

“I’m just trying to get ready to do what I need to do.”

Larkin, 19, Detroit’s top pick in the 2014 NHL entry draft, did what he needed to do to earn a spot on the team and when he skates his first shift Friday, he’ll be the first teenager to play for the Wings in a season opener since Mike Sillinger in 1990.

“I feel ready,” said Larkin, who will play on a line with captain Henrik Zetterberg and fellow Michigander Justin Abdelkader. “I think my whole life I’ve been dreaming about this.”

When he got the word earlier this week that he’d made the squad, Larkin’s first call was to his parents, his dad Kevin and mom Sidney Denise.

“I couldn’t help but to just smile,” Larkin recalled. “It was exciting.

“To call my parents and tell them I was playing Friday was probably one of the best feelings I’ve ever had. We’re here, it’s Friday and I’m just trying to get ready to play.”

There were no butterflies for Larkin as he spent Thursday night with family – he expects 20-25 friends and family members to be at the game.

“I think it was easy,” Larkin said of dealing with pre-game jitters. “A lot of family was in town so I got to hang out with them and see them.

“Everyone’s pretty excited. It was a pretty easy sleep here. It wasn’t too hard.”

Larkin will join the likes of Gordie Howe, Alex Delvecchio, Steve Yzerman and former Windsor Spitfires Claude Loiselle and Adam Graves among the teenagers who’ve played for the Wings.

*Indicates player who was on opening-night roster.

Season-Player-Position-Age

1927-28 Pete Palangio-LW 19

1928-29 Frank Daley-D 19

1942-43 Harry Watson-LW 19*

1943-44 Hy Buller-D 17

1943-44 Harry Lumley-G 17

1943-44 Vic Lynn-LW 19

1944-45 Hy Buller-D 18*

1944-45 Ted Lindsay-LW 19*

1944-45 Harry Lumley-G 18

1945-46 Harry Lumley-G 19*

1946-47 Gordie Howe-RW*

1947-48 Gordie Howe-RW*

1949-50 Glen Skov-C 19

1949-50 Marcel Pronovost-D 19

1949-50 Larry Wilson-C 19

1950-51 Alex Delvecchio-C 18

1950-51 Lou Jankowski-C 19

1951-52 Alex Delvecchio-C 19*

1954-55 Larry Hillman-D 17

1955-56 Cummy Burton-RW 19

1955-56 Larry Hillman-D 18*

1956-57 Larry Hillman-D 19*

1957-58 Dave Amadio-D 18

1957-58 Stu McNeill-C 19

1961-62 Pit Martin-C 18

1961-62 Wayne Rivers-RW 19

1965-66 Bart Crashley-D 19

1965-66 Gary Doak-D 19

1965-66 Pete Mahovlich-C 19

1979-80 Rejean Cloutier-D 19

1982-82 Claude Loiselle-C 18

1982-83 Murray Craven-LW 18

1982-83 Claude Loiselle-C 19*

1982-83 Larry Trader-D 19*

1983-84 Murray Craven-LW 19*

1983-84 Lane Lambert-RW 19*

1983-84 Steve Yzerman-C 18*

1984-85 Shawn Burr-LW 18*

1984-85 Steve Yzerman-C 19*
1985-86 Shawn Burr-LW 19*

1985-86 Doug Houda-D 19*

1986-87 Steve Chiasson-D 19*

1986-87 Joe Murphy-C 19*

1986-87 Jeff Sharples-D 19*

1987-88 Adam Graves-C 19*

1990-91 Keith Primeau-C 19*

1990-91 Mike Sillinger-C 19*

1991-92 Slava Kozlov-C 19

1991-92 Martin Lapointe-RW 18*

1992-93 Martin Lapointe-RW 19* (2)

1995-96 Mathieu Dandenault-RW 19*

1999-00 Jiri Fischer-D 19*

2003-04 Jiri Hudler-C 19*

2015-16 Dylan Larkin-C 19*

*Indicates player who started the season on the Detroit roster.

bduff@windsorstar.com

twitter.com/asktheduffer


 
 
 
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PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 27:  Dylan Larkin is selected fifteenth overall by the Detroit Red Wings in the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft at the Wells Fargo Center on June 27, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 486532375
 

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 27: Dylan Larkin is selected fifteenth overall by the Detroit Red Wings in the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft at the Wells Fargo Center on June 27, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 486532375

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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