Detroit Red Wings: Is Dylan Larkin ready to be the next Captain?

NEWARK, NJ - JANUARY 22: Dylan Larkin
NEWARK, NJ - JANUARY 22: Dylan Larkin /

Fresh off of a new five year 30.5 million dollar extension with the Detroit Red Wings that raised some eyebrows. Money alone does not mean a player is ready to be a team captain.

Dylan Larkin wants to be “THE” guy. He wants the puck on his stick when the game is on the line. All of the great ones do. At 22 years old he may seem young, but Larkin is mature beyond his years. Steve YzermanNicklas Lidstrom, and Henrik Zetterberg all had a common denominator.

They lead by example. They were the Detroit Red Wings, last three captains.  Dylan Larkin appears ready. Larkin is team success driven, and yes he is also individually driven to wear the “C.”

Detroit Red Wings general manager has mentioned; “Dylan, Hates to lose.” Which is a curious statement with the Red Wings in the midst of a rebuild. It may not be off the mark. Holland appears to be warming to the idea that Larkin’s detest for losing will rub off on the Detroit younger players. Anthony Mantha, Filip Zadina, Tyler Bertuzzi and others. Players that are sure to be part of the Winged Wheels next playoff streak.

Dylan Larkin plays with a high motor. Coach Jeff Blashill says Dylan practices with that same high motor. In other words, there is a “C” in his future. The past two seasons the Red Wings have moved Larkin from left-wing to center with more responsibility.

Perhaps the most telling fact is that Dylan Larkin is already respected inside the Detroit Red Wings organization. With a good head on his shoulders, he seems ready to lead. A captain needs to have the same intensity game in and game out. Something Larkin has demonstrated.

The fact he embraced learning a new more demanding position a year after a great rookie season that saw him in the NHL all-star game. To me it was the tip-off he is the right guy to succeed Zetterberg as the next Red Wings captain.

When it happens, Dylan Larkin will be the second youngest captain in Detroit Red Wings history. Steve Yzerman will remain the youngest. Detroit appears to be putting a premium on youth. That is a good thing. As a kid who shot pucks in his parents’ unfinished basement. It is that kind of youthful spirit that can serve as a helpful tool for the rebuilding Red Wings.

What will be more critical for both Dylan Larkin and the Red Wings, is that he will not feel pressured to be the next Steve Yzerman.  He does not need to be.

He needs to speak up when needed. He needs to continue to lead by example.

Dylan Larkin came back from a sophomore slump. He has become a playmaker with his blinding speed and creating space for himself and teammates on the ice.

Next. Evaluating the Filip Zadina Hype Train. dark

He seems to have learned from his year two mistakes and become a better player because of it. With the captains who have worn the Red Wings sweater before him. Dylan Larkin has to know what a special gift it is to be crowned with the “C.” I believe he is ready.