Geek of the Week: Dylan Larkin Not Done Improving

Scott Maran

2018-08-12


The Red Wings finished up some important business a few days ago when they signed Dylan Larkin to a new five-year contract worth $6.1 million per year. With Larkin looking like the future of the Red Wings, it was almost a no-brainer for GM Ken Holland to lock him up now, forgoing the infamous bridge deal that has been becoming less and less popular in recent memory. With Larkin's long-term contract comes a much higher cap hit though, and there are a few who think Larkin is making more than he's worth.

Even though $6.1 million isn’t cheap, Larkin's proven his worth and has the potential to become an even better fantasy asset next season. After a solid rookie season that saw Larkin collect 23 goals and 45 points, fantasy owners soured on the young forward after a disappointing sophomore season. Larkin struggled throughout the year and failed to build on his first season, only posting 32 points (12 less than the previous year). Heading into his third NHL season, there was a lot less optimism around one of the Wings’ best young forwards, especially as the team around him continued to decline. 

Larkin surprised many though with a huge bounce-back season, posting career-highs in several fantasy categories. His 63 points were tied for the 58th most in the NHL, not elite but not bad for a player with an average draft position as low as 223rd overall. While most of his points were in assists (Larkin only finished with 16 goals), he also saw huge increases in penalty minutes and shots. 

Larkin’s breakout fantasy season didn't go unnoticed but still might get overlooked as poolies are selecting their rosters for next season. Despite posting 63 points as a 21-year-old, those numbers were overshadowed by huge performances by other young skaters such as Nathan MacKinnon, Mathew Barzal, and Mikko Rantanen, who all averaged at least a point per game. Also, the Detroit Red Wings are once again projected to be one of the worst teams in the league next season, so it will be hard for Larkin to produce a lot of value wit