Detroit Red Wings Star #1: Dylan Larkin
Detroit’s captain had himself quite a year. On the ice, he centered the top line, consistently facing the opposing team’s best defenders and scorers. Despite that, since being in the league, Dylan Larkin was able to set career highs in goals, assists, points, faceoff win percentage, powerplay goals, and nearly every statistical measure.
He was able to take his defensive play to another level as well. In addition to being tasked with playing on the first penalty-killing unit in most cases, Larkin stockpiled 53 takeaways and refused to hinder his team by taking less than 0.6 penalty minutes per game.
He picked a hell of a year to hit such numbers, as he was up for free agency at the end of the season. However, Steve Yzerman also took notice of the impact Larkin had on the success that the team was able to experience. Dylan Larkin was rewarded with a new eight-year contract with an AAV of $8.7 million.
That is not too shabby for a player who was occasionally scrutinized by the media and a portion of the fanbase for not being talented enough to be a “first-line center.” He answered the call, put himself at the top of the team in scoring, and showed true leadership skills for veterans and rookies.
Without Larkin on the roster for this season, Detroit would easily have five to six fewer victories to show, if not more, making him the team’s MVP for the 2022-23 season.
Dylan Larkin’s Highlight of the Year: