When the Detroit Red Wings decided to keep Dylan Larkin with the NHL club following training camp, it was clear they thought the world of the 19-year-old. After all, he was the first teenager to crack Detroit’s opening night lineup since defenseman Jiri Fischer in the 1999-2000 season.
Larkin has every bit lived up to the Red Wings’ expectations and on Thursday. he became the first Detroit rookie to reach the 20-goal mark since Henrik Zetterberg scored 22 in 2002-03.
Perhaps fittingly, Zetterberg drew an assist on Larkin’s milestone-tying marker in the second period of Detroit’s 3–2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets.
Larkin, who reached 20 goals in his 65th game of the season, has 15 more games to equal Zetterberg’s rookie goal-scoring mark. Zetterberg finished his rookie season with 22 goals and 22 assists as a 22-year-old.
Larkin won’t turn 20 until July 30.
Larkin is now tied with Buffalo’s Jack Eichel for second place in rookie goal scoring this season, trailing Chicago’s Artemi Panarin, who has recorded 25.