NHL.com’s Nicholas J. Cotsonika spoke with Dylan Larkin after the Eastside Elite Hockey League All-Star Game on Tuesday. Cotsonika found that Larkin is already focusing on stepping up his game for the 2019-2020 season:
It’s July, but Dylan Larkin is thinking ahead.
“I believe I’m working as hard as I possibly can, and also resting, which is a huge part of the summer, and taking care of my body,” the Detroit Red Wings center said on Tuesday. “It’s just stuff you learn. After four years, your body, you feel things, and you understand if you want to play big minutes in the NHL, the big minutes matter in February, March, April and May. That’s what you have to prepare for.”
The Red Wings haven’t made the Stanley Cup Playoffs since 2015-16, Larkin’s rookie season, when they lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning in five games in the Eastern Conference First Round. They finished 28th in the NHL last season.
But they have a new general manager, Steve Yzerman, the Red Wings icon who was GM of the Lightning from 2010-18. They signed forward Valtteri Filppula and defenseman Patrik Nemeth as unrestricted free agents July 1. And led by Larkin, who turns 23 on Tuesday, they have young talent on the roster and in the system.
“I think it’s all excitement,” Larkin said. “I think a long summer like we’ve had, you can’t forget the young guys that we have.”