I disagree. He won't make the team out of camp, but we might seem him join the team later in the season, possibly as a winger. He's an exceptional skater; he plays a remarkably mature, rounded 200-foot game; he's got a good frame for an 18-year-old; and his vision, smarts, hockey IQ, playmaking ability are all commendable. While NCAA hockey isn't AHL hockey, killing it as a freshman like Larkin did is extremely impressive and bodes well for his adjustment to the pro game. This is a kid who just played for the USA in the IIHF World Championship as an 18-year-old, the only other 18-year-old on the roster being Jack Eichel. This is a kid without any true holes in his game or even areas of concern. He's not a project. He has to bulk up, has to get used to the grind of the pro schedule, has to make all the necessary adjustments that every player in his situation has to make - but I don't think the adjustment period will be a long one, maybe not even a full season. This is one of the ten best NHL prospects.
Going from a 35-40 game college schedule to a 75-80 game pro schedule is a huge step. Going from amatuer hockey to pro hockey is another huge step-something that AA and Mantha just reminded us. Both tore up junior last year and neither even scored 20 goals this year for GR. It takes time for guys to develop. The question is, how much? Could all 3 make it to detroit next year? yes. But I am not going to hold my breath. All should get there but all have things to do before they make it. Larkin needs to add 20 pounds of muscle. That is hard to do in one summer. Come 2016 he should be ready. Also, there is no need to rush him. We have a ton of C already: Datsyuk, Z, Sheahan, Helm, Glendening, Abby, Andersson, etc... are all natural C men. Even if Weiss is moved/cut we still have 6 on the team.
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