Things have been bleak lately as a Wings fan. Whether you’re fighting over the DeKeyser contract, arguing over which forwards are going to be traded for a defenceman or realizing at this point that trade probably isn’t even actually going to happen, things haven’t been the best. But if there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s the D-Boss himself, Dylan Larkin. Like the North Star on a clear night at the cottage, he shines above the rest to give us all direction. Here’s our list of the 20 best things about Dylan Larkin on the day the kid turns 20-years-old.
20. Possible replacement for the Magic Man?
19. Stats don’t lie
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 10, 2015
18. He was named the Big Ten Rookie of the Year back in his college days. Sure, there have only been three winners so far but I’ll be damned if he isn’t the best one.
17. The amount of different names we’ve heard announcers say this past season regarding who was the last teenager to make the big team. Seriously, does anyone actually even know who it was for sure yet? Fischer? Yzerman? Some other jabroni? Who even knows at this point.
16. Babcock leaving was the reason Larkin left the NCAA and headed straight for Detroit. While everyone was crying their eyes out over the loss, Larkin saw an opportunity to become the new top dawg in the D. Hey, even if this is the only solace we have in the loss, just give it to us, alright?
15. His draft position in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. And we thought being the first team out of the playoffs every year sucked. Showed them, eh.
14. The fact that I can’t put his goals in the regular season as one of the numbers on this list. 23 as a rookie? Love it. Especially when they make a then-leading Vezina candidate look like a Leaf’s-era Vesa Toskala:
— Red Wing Diehards™ (@RedWingDiehards) July 30, 2016
13. The amount of seconds it took to break Mike Gartner’s fastest skater record record at the All-Star Game
12. The age he looks on his 20th birthday. Still love the kid though, looks aren’t everything in this league, ask this guy:
— Tara Slone (@TaraSlone) July 26, 2016
+11. His +/- rating on the season. His linemates combined for a -31 so either this guy really makes an impact or he has the best eye on the team for getting off the ice at the right time and sticking that minus to some other chump.
10. The fact that he finished in the upper half on the NHL’s 40 breakout stars rankings last season.
9. He was Detroit’s representative at the All-Star game in his rookie season. What a stud.
8. The fact that he’s one of the best players on the team yet could have still jumped into this ring and beat the piss outta that kid and most would see it as a fair fight:
I don’t approve. pic.twitter.com/qCIVefIQK3
— Dylan (@71Larkin) July 4, 2016
7. Sevens man. Is he going to be 17 now that Brad Richards is gone? Or is he sticking to 71? Please let us know so we can finally buy your jersey and not look like a fool should the swap happen. I wonder how long it will take AliExpres… uh NHL.com store to fix it in their store.
6. The amount of minutes in the three hour broadcast where Detroit’s announcers aren’t talking about Larkin.
5. Hey, that’s pretty cool:
Dylan Larkin became first teenage @DetroitRedWings player to score a playoff goal since Keith Primeau in 1991
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 16, 2016
4. The position he finished in team scoring in his rookie year. His 45 points was good for a tie with Tomas Tatar but he did it in one less game so let’s give the kid this one okay? Okay.
3. This video should actually be #1:
2. Yo, his first NHL goal was against the Leafs? How good is that? It’s incredible:
1. The stuff he does out there on the ice for all of us to enjoy:
Thanks for being the shining star we all deserve Dylan Larkin. Buy a beer on me. Ah, right. Happy 20th man.