TRAVERSE CITY — One week after being drafted by the Detroit Red Wings, Dylan Larkin and Dominic Turgeon are getting their first taste of professional hockey.
Larkin, picked in the first round at No. 15, and Turgeon, taken 63rd overall in the third round, are among the 44 players taking part in Detroit’s five-day Development Camp at Centre Ice Arena.
The biggest thing the two are finding out about the experience of the camp is the speed and intensity of the workouts.
“I was impressed,” said Larkin, a 17-year-old center who spent the last two years with the U.S. National Development Team Under-18 squad. “The way coach (Jeff) Blashill teaches, you can tell players want to play for him. He’s such a people person. The guys were working hard so it was good. It was intense. It was really fast. There’s some big guys so it seems like there’s not much space out there.”
“For me, I think it’s an unbelievable experience, especially getting to go through this for the first time,” said Turgeon, also a center, who plays for the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League. “I’ve never really done anything like this before, so I guess it’s a good learning process for my game. Everyone’s going hard. That’s the way it’s got to be.”
The Red Wings were thrilled to land Larkin with their top pick. He’s a Waterford native who will suit up for the University of Michigan in the fall. His leadership and goal-scoring ability were the things that stood out for the organization. He was second on the Under-18 team with 31 goals and fourth on the team with 56 points in 60 games.
“They want me to keep developing — get stronger,” said Larkin. “To play at the next level you’ve got to be stronger. I think I bring skating ability and the pace I play. I push the pace. I like to skate with the puck. I like to score goals. You have to go to those areas (in front of the net) and score goals. You see the NHL, and even in the playoffs this year, most of the goals are from the point. Guys out front. That’s how you score goals now.”