NASHVILLE — For the first time since 1984, the Detroit Red Wings will have a rookie in the All-Star Game.
Back then, it was 18-year-old Steve Yzerman. This year, it’s 19-year-old Dylan Larkin.
“It’s still kinda crazy every time I hear our names in the same sentence,” Larkin said today. “He’s a great person and a great player, so he set a great path for me to follow.”
Despite being compared to one of the greatest players in Red Wings franchise history, Larkin doesn’t seem at all bothered by the expectations for his career, which have been growing higher and higher all season.
In December, Wings GM Ken Holland said that Larkin had “face of the franchise” potential.
“I don’t feel pressure,” Larkin said. “To me, it doesn’t really mean anything. I have to be myself. Nothing is set in stone with him saying that.”
For now, he’s just happy to be at the All-Star Game, hanging out with the best players in the world.
“It’s awesome,” he said. “As a young guy, you want to learn as much as you can from these guys. Just soak it in.”
Larkin could be a key player in Sunday’s 3-on-3 tournament, where his speed and young legs have the potential to be a huge asset for the Atlantic Division squad, which includes 43-year-old Jaromir Jagr.
“We only have six forwards, so it’s going to be tough for 20 minutes of 3-on-3,” he said. “Luckily I’m young and have pretty good stamina. I’ll be able to go the full 20 minutes.”