Over the next few weeks, we'll introduce each of the eight new faces on the roster to give Michigan ice hockey fans a first look at the freshman class. This week, freshman forward Dylan Larkin checks in with MGoBlue.com about his path to Michigan.
A native of Waterford, Mich., Larkin became the 18th player in program history selected in the first round of the NHL Entry Draft, going 15th overall to the Detroit Red Wings on June 27. Larkin will be the first Detroit Red Wings draft pick to play for the Wolverines since Kevin Hilton ('96).
Larkin had a standout year with the United States National Team Development Program U-18 Team in 2013-14. A 6-foot-1, 192-pound forward, Larkin appeared in 60 games for the USNTDP Under-18 team and finished fourth on the team in scoring with 56 points (31 goals, 25 assists) in 60 games. In April, he helped the United States earn gold at the 2014 IIHF Under-18 World Championship in Finland, recording four points (two goals, two assists) in six games.
On his first memory of Yost Ice Arena ...
I remember being recruited and sitting in the stands watching the student section go crazy. After watching Chris Brown score two goals and seeing the second intermission student dance, I knew I wanted to go here.
On having familiarity with many of his Michigan teammates before arriving on campus ...
Zach (Werenski) and I played midget hockey together for four years, winning three state championships. I watched J.T. Compher, Evan Allen and Tyler Motte play as 18 year olds when I was in my first year with the NTDP.
How often do you expect your family to see you play being a short drive from Yost?
I hope they can come to all of the home games. My brother (Colin) is playing for U-Mass Boston so I know they are planning to come out when we play in Boston.
Who is your favorite NHL player and who do you model your game after?
My favorite NHL player is Sidney Crosby, and I try to model my game after Markus Naslund.
What was it like getting selected by your hometown team in the NHL Draft and how was your first rookie camp with the team?
It was a great moment to hear my name called by (Red Wings GM) Ken Holland. Getting selected by the Detroit Red Wings is a dream come true, but my life goal is to play in the NHL. Going to Traverse City for development camp was an exciting time and a great learning experience.
What are some of your interests away from the rink?
This summer I have really gotten into tennis, and I love to watch movies.
What difficulties have you had to overcome in your career so far?
In 2011, I broke my ankle and missed five months of the season, and it was my first major injury, so learning how to deal with that was tough. I had to push myself to work hard and make sure I was ready for the next season.
Previous Q&A: Zach Werenski
Contact: Jeffrey Weinstein (734) 763-4423