Unlike some years, the frontrunners for the Calder Trophy this season are hard to pick out, but Detroit Red Wings rookie Dylan Larkin is certainly trying to put himself front and center in the conversation. His goal Monday night will certainly garner some attention if there’s anyone who’s still sleeping on the 19-year-old winger.
Midway through the first period of Monday’s game, Larkin was beaten by New Jersey’s Jordin Tootoo, but the Devils winger lost the puck behind the net. That allowed Detroit to turn the puck up ice, and gave Larkin the chance to use his incredible speed to fly up the ice and get behind the Devils defense. Once he had slipped behind the defenders, Larkin took a perfect pass from Brad Richards and went in alone on New Jersey netminder Cory Schneider. Watch Larkin’s move to beat the Devils’ star goaltender:
You can’t fault Schneider for looking shot — Larkin can fire the puck — but in doing so he left the deke option entirely open for Larkin, who put his soft hands to good use and spun Schneider into the ice with a gorgeous deke. The goal is Larkin’s rookie-leading 14th of the season and gave him 27 points on the year. He sits alone in third place among rookies, one point back of Arizona’s Max Domi and seven behind Chicago’s Artemi Panarin.
Larkin making the Detroit roster this season was a big deal, and he’s the first teenager to open the season with the Red Wings since Mike Sillinger in 1990. It’s hard to argue that Larkin hasn’t earned his spot, though. His 27 points are second on the Red Wings behind only Henrik Zetterberg and Larkin has had a knack for coming up big — his four game-winners lead Detroit.