US NTDP U18
2013-2014 stats; 60 games 31 goals 25 assists 56 points 56 PIMs
Height: 6'0.75" Weight: 190 lbs.
Final Central Scouting Rank: 17th among NA skaters
What are his strengths? Weaknesses?
Larkin is a player that already looks like a pro. He plays an incredibly well-rounded game for a player his age; effective on the offensive end of the ice, and responsible defensively. He's got prototypical pro size and skates very well for a bigger forward. He played center for the NTDP squad this year, and had no difficulties handling the extra skating and defensive responsibilities the position requires.
Larkin is project mid-to-late first round, so the weaknesses here aren't huge. If there's anything keeping him from being a top-ten pick, it's that he doesn't quite have the high-end scoring potential of some of the offensive prospects ranked ahead of him.
How was his draft year? Trending up or down?
Larkin's draft stock stayed pretty steady this past year, which is about all you can hope for when you start the year ranked so high. If anything, he solidified his first round status by becoming more of a scorer, improving from about half-a-point per game with the U17 team, to nearly a point-per-game with the U18s. His scoring numbers are all the more impressive when you consider he was centering the NTDP's second line, behind the top line of Jack Eichel-Sonny Milano-Alex Tuch, so he didn't see top power play minutes, or have the same level of talent on his wings.
The safest bet for Larkin is somewhere between picks 10 and 25 in the first round of the draft. Anything earlier than that might be a bit of a reach, and anything later than that is an absolute steal for the team that drafts him.
Quite similar to the role he played this year for the NTDP. He doesn't quite have the scoring ability to be a first line center on a really good NHL team, but he would make a great second line center that plays both ends of the ice, and make the teammates around him better players. Guys that can play center like Larkin does at the NHL level are a rare and valuable commodity.
Where will he go next?
Larkin will play for the University of Michigan next season. Erie owns his OHL rights, but while the Otters will certainly make an effort, Larkin seemed pretty set on playing in his home state next year at the NHL Combine. With Michigan returning two of the better centermen in college hockey next year in Andrew Copp and JT Compher, Larkin will likely slide over to wing for a season to keep him on the ice more. Barring a huge breakout season as a freshman, Larkin will likely return to Michigan for a second season, where he would most likely play center before heading to the pros.