Midway through year two, it's a good time to check in on Dylan Larkin. His first season was a Jeckyll & Hyde season.
52 games in, he had 18 goals, 20 assists and he was +26. Over his final 33 games, including playoffs, scored 6 goals and 2 assists and was -17.
This year, unsurprisingly, he's somewhere between the extremes. In 40 games, he has 11 goals and four assists. He's also minus -14.
Unfortunately, Larkin's production, on the whole, is closer to the second half than the first half. His goal scoring is right on target for last year, factoring both the Jekyll & Hyde halfs. His assist production is more like the second half of last year. And his plus/minus is definitely more like the second half of last year.
In fact, adding last year's final 33 games with his first 40 this year gives you some fairly startling numbers:
73 games 17 goals 6 assists -31.
There are several factors to consider in Larkin's defense.
1) He's been glued to center lately and that's a tough position in the NHL.
2) He spent 10-15 games with Glendening. Now he's playing with two players, Nyquist and Sheahan, who haven't scored in forever.
3) The power play is awful and at some level, that's a coaching thing.
But take a good, hard look at those numbers.
73 games, 17 goals, 6 assists, -31.
Don't bother looking at advanced stats for silver linings. There aren't any. His possession numbers aren't good and his 5-on-5 production is between Drew Miller and Darren Helm.
The Red Wings have a choice.
If Larkin needs to learn to be a pro center, maybe the AHL is the best place for him to learn. If not, put him back on the Wing with a competent center.