It is easy to forget that Detroit Red Wings Dylan Larkin suffered a season-ending injury this past season. The upper-body injury occurred late in the season, courtesy of a cross check to the neck by fellow captain Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars, with the Red Wings well out of contention and Larkin himself not even playing too well. Yet, with a new season right around the corner and Detroit and its best player looking forward to taking a step in their rebuild this year, Larkin’s injury has come back into focus.
Nearly three-and-half months since Larkin was felled by what appears to be a neck or back injury, the talented forward is still recovering. According to The Athletic’s Max Bultman, Larkin only returned to skating last month and was cleared to resume shooting last week. He has not yet been cleared for contact with training camp arriving in six weeks. Fortunately, Larkin believes he will be ready by then. The savvy young forward has been taking his rehab in stride and tells Bultman that he is feeling great and is confident in his recovery. With plenty of time left to keep progressing at a healthy rate, Larkin expects to be back at full strength for training camp.
Larkin did admit to Bultman that he was not as measured with his off-season training last year, believing that he may have overworked himself during the extended break in preparation for the 2020-21 season. This could have explained Larkin’s injury and extensive recovery period. It also may have contributed to a career low in goal-scoring, both total and per-game. Larkin notched just nine goals in 44 games last year. He totaled just 23 points as well. This is a far cry from the expectation for the skilled center, who recorded 189 points in 229 games over the three season’s prior, including 32 goals and 73 points in 2018-19. The Red Wings hope that a healthy, rested, and re-focused Larkin can get back to that elite scoring pace this season.