Red Wings Prospect Larkin Leaves U-M for Griffins

Dylan Larkin, first-round draft pick of the Detroit Red Wings in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, will leave the University of Michigan after just one season to join the Grand Rapids Griffins.

By signing an amateur try-out contract with the Griffins, Larkin forfeits his NCAA eligibility but will be able to play for Grand Rapids in their Western Conference Final matchup with the Utica Comets. It also allows him to join the Griffins immediately while separately signing an entry-level deal with the Red Wings that will not begin until next season.

Larkin, 18, is fresh off representing the United States at the World Championships in the Czech Republic. In ten games he registered one assist playing as a defensive specialist on a team that surprised many to win the bronze medal. Larkin also represented the US at the World Junior Championships, with five goals and two assists in five games.

In his freshman and only year with the Michigan Wolverines, the center from Waterford scored 47 points (15 goals, 32 assists) in 35 games, earning him the Big Ten’s Freshman of the Year award.

The Griffins visit Utica for Game One of their series on Sunday.

Babcock Bolts: Former Red Wings Head Coach Signs with Leafs

The Toronto Maple Leafs have hired Mike Babcock as their head coach.

Babcock had spent the last ten years as the head coach of the Detroit Red Wings and was highly sought after with his contract expiring this summer. Multiple teams had asked the Red Wings for permission to talk to Babcock about their coaching vacancies, with Babcock reportedly having narrowed it down to a return to Detroit or the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night.

On Wednesday a bidding war erupted between the Sabres and the Maple Leafs. One by one, the Sabres, Red Wings, St. Louis Blues, and San Jose Sharks confirmed that they were out of the running, with only the Maple Leafs remaining.

The Maple Leafs announced Babcock’s hiring shortly after, with a press conference scheduled for 11:00 AM on Thursday.

Babcock’s deal with Toronto is reportedly worth $50 million over eight seasons, the largest contract for a coach in NHL history.

In ten seasons with the Red Wings, Babcock coached the team to a 458-223-105 record. His teams were 67-56 in the postseason. Babcock lead Detroit to a Stanley Cup Championship in 2008, another Finals appearance in 2009, and regular season championships in 2006 and 2008.

Detroit general manager Ken Holland is expected to address the media about Babcock’s departure on Wednesday afternoon.

Mike Babcock and the Diving Save

By all accounts, Mike Babcock will coach either the Detroit Red Wings or the Buffalo Sabres next season. The Sabres appear to be offering more money, the Red Wings offer stability and a ready-made roster. His decision is set to be made by Wednesday.

The Red Wings have previously stated that they would not be outbid for Babcock’s services. I don’t actually believe that but I’ll roll with it for a minute.

Babcock has said he’ll check in with Detroit general manager Ken Holland before deciding. There is an opportunity there for Holland, a chance to make one last pitch, if necessary, but it’s an opportunity he should not take.

One of my favorite writers, Rands, has a piece on The Diving Save. The idea is that there are people who, when they tell you that they’re leaving, you have to do everything you can do to stop.

People leave for lots of reasons. Compensation is a big one. Control is another. How interested they are in the work they’d be doing. The list goes on. From that list they make a decision.

If Mike Babcock calls Ken Holland in the morning and says he’s leaving for Buffalo, Holland will have one chance to tell him why he’s wrong and should stay.

And Holland shouldn’t do it.

If Mike Babcock decides that he’s done with Detroit, he would only be staying because Holland was able to change his mind. Holland should remember Rands’ warning about a successful Diving Save.

Last worry: you need to remember that this person who recently decided to stay also recently decided to leave. They completely imagined and started acting in a world where they were leaving the company. We humans are fond of structure, habit, and familiarity, and this recently-saved person picked a new company full of strangers and opaque opportunity. This human had to make a brave leap to make this choice, and just because they chose to stay for now doesn’t mean they’ll remain.

Petrella’s 2015 NHL Entry Draft Top 121

Formerly of The Production Line, Michael Petrella is known for his NHL Entry Draft previews, having provided his thoughts on the 2014 draft via DH.N last year.

This year he presents his top 121 players (four rounds, including a compensation pick for the Chicago Blackhawks) without comment.

Rank Name Pos. Team League Height Weight Birthdate
1 Connor McDavid C Erie Otters OHL 5’11 170 1/13/1997
2 Jack Eichel C Boston College NCAA 6’1 185 10/28/1996
3 Mitch Marner C London Knights OHL 5’10 164 5/5/1997
4 Dylan Strome C Erie Otters OHL 6’2 170 3/7/1997
5 Noah Hanifin D USNTDP / Boston College NCAA 6’3 201 1/25/1997
6 Lawson Crouse W Kingston Frontenacs OHL 6’3 200 6/23/1997
7 Matt Barzal C Seattle Thunderbirds WHL 5’11 165 5/26/1997
8 Travis Konecny C Ottawa 67’s OHL 5’9 165 3/11/1997
9 Zach Werenski D USNTDP / University of Michigan NCAA 6’1 215 7/19/1997
10 Ivan Provorov D Brandon Wheat Kings WHL 6′ 201 1/13/1997
11 Yevgeni Svechnikov W Cape Breton Screaming Eagles QMJHL 6’3 205 10/31/1996
12 Pavel Zacha W Liberec CZECH 6’2 196 4/6/1997
13 Mikko Rantanen C TPS FIN 6’3 194 10/29/1996
14 Kyle Connor C Youngstown / University of Michigan NCAA 6’1 170 12/9/1996
15 Oliver Kylington D Farjestads SWE 6’1 178 5/19/1997
16 Jeremy Bracco C USNTDP / Boston College NCAA 5’9 172 3/17/1997
17 Daniel Sprong W Charlottetown Islanders QMJHL 5’11 175 3/17/1997
18 Nick Merkley C Kelowna Rockets WHL 5’10 187 5/23/1997
19 Jeremy Roy D Sherbrooke Phoenix QMJHL 6′ 182 5/14/1997
20 Erik Cernak D Kosice SVK 6’3 192 5/28/1997
21 Colin White C USNTDP / Boston College NCAA 6′ 179 1/30/1997
22 Mitchell Stephens C Saginaw Spirit OHL 6′ 183 2/5/1997
23 Jansen Harkins C Prince George Cougars WHL 6’1 181 5/23/1997
24 Mitchell VandeSompel D Oshawa Generals OHL 5’10 182 2/11/1997
25 Timo Meier W Halifax Moosehead QMJHL 6′ 209 10/8/1996
26 Brandon Carlo D TriCity Americans WHL 6’5 185 11/26/1996
27 Anthony Beauvillier W Shawinigan Cataractes QMJHL 5’10 171 6/8/1997
28 Rasmus Andersson D Malmo SWE 6′ 214 10/27/1996
29 Sebastian Aho W Karpat SML 5’11 172 7/26/97
30 Brock Boeser W Waterloo / University of North Dakota NCAA 6’1 192 2/25/1997
31 Roope Hintz W Ilves FIN 6’2 183 11/17/1996
32 Paul Bittner W Portland Winterhawks WHL 6’4 195 11/4/1996
33 Jake DeBrusk W Swift Current Broncos WHL 5’11 168 10/17/1996
34 Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson C Omaha / Boston University NCAA 6′ 192 10/31/1996
35 Joel Eriksson-Ek C Farjestad SWE 6’2 183 1/29/1997
36 David Kase C Chomutov CZE 5’11 169 1/28/1997
37 Filip Chlapik C Charlottetown QMJHL 6’1 190 6/3/1997
38 Thomas Chabot D Saint John Sea Dogs QMJHL 6’2 179 1/30/1997
39 Jakub Zboril D Saint John SeaDogs QMJHL 6’1 187 2/21/1997
40 Tommy Novak C Waterloo / University of Minnesota NCAA 5’11 172 4/28/1997
41 Jonas Siegenthaler D ZSC SUI 6’2 214 5/6/1997
42 Nicolas Roy W Chicoutimi Sagueneens QMJHL 6’4 190 2/5/1997
43 Nicolas Meloche D Baie-Comeau Drakkar QMJHL 6’2 198 7/18/1997
44 Jake Roslovic C USNTDP / Miami Ohio NCAA 6′ 182 1/29/1997
45 Ryan Gropp W Seattle Thunderbirds WHL 6’2 184 9/16/1996
46 Christian Fischer C USNTDP / Notre Dame NCAA 6’1 212 4/15/1997
47 Jacob Larsson D Frolunda SWE 6’2 181 4/29/1997
48 Jens Looke W Brynas Jr SWE 6′ 180 4/11/1997
49 Aleksi Saarela C Assat Pori FIN 5’10 198 1/7/1997
50 Jordan Greenway W USNTDP / Boston University NCAA 6’4 223 2/16/1997
51 Ryan Pilon D Brandon Wheat Kings WHL 6’2 212 10/10/1996
52 Adam Musil C Red Deer Rebels WHL 6’3 207 3/26/1997
53 Parker Wotherspoon D TriCity Americans WHL 6′ 171 8/24/1997
54 Sebastian Aho D Skelleftea SWE 5’10 174 2/17/1996
55 Denis Malgin C Kusnacht Lions SUI 5’9 176 1/18/1997
56 Alexandre Carrier D Gatineau Olympiques QMJHL 5’11 174 10/8/1996
57 Denis Guryanov W Togliatti KHL 6’2 183 6/7/1997
58 Robin Kovacs W AIK SWE 6′ 168 11/16/1996
59 Michael Spacek W Pardubice CZE 5’11 187 4/9/1997
60 Alexander Dergachyov W St. Petersburgh KHL 6’4 200 9/27/1996
61 Matthew Spencer D Peterborough Petes OHL 6’1 201 3/24/1997
62 Dennis Yan W Shawinigan Cataractes QMJHL 6’1 187 4/14/1997
63 Filip Ahl W HV71 SWE 6’4 214 6/12/1997
64 Mackenzie Blackwood G Barrie Colts OHL 6’4 215 12/9/1996
65 Nikita Korostelev W Sarnia Sting OHL 6’1 196 2/8/1997
66 Blake Speers F Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds OHL 5’11 185 1/2/1997
67 Conor Garland W Moncton Wildcats QMJHL 5’8 163 3/11/1996
68 Graham Knott W Niagara Ice Dogs OHL 6’3 192 1/13/1997
69 Guillaume Brisebois D Acadie-Bathurst Titan QMJHL 6’1 170 7/21/1997
70 Vlad Tkachev W Quebec Remparts QMJHL 5’10 154 10/5/1995
71 Vladislav Gavrikov D Lokomotiv KHL 6’2′ 205 11/21/1995
72 Nathan Noel C Saint John SeaDogs QMJHL 5’10 170 6/21/1997
73 Daniel Vladar G HC Kladno CZE 6’5 185 8/20/1997
74 Noah Juulsen D Everett Silvertips WHL 6’1 175 4/2/1997
75 Felix Sandstrom G Brynas Jr SWE 6’2 191 1/12/1997
76 Erik Foley W Cedar Rapids / Providence College NCAA 5’11 185 6/30/1997
77 Vince Dunn D Niagara Ice Dogs OHL 5’11 182 10/29/1996
78 Julius Nattinen C JYP FIN 6’1 191 1/14/1997
79 Lukas Jasek W HC Trinec CZE 6’1 172 8/28/1997
80 Ethan Bear D Seattle Thunderbirds WHL 5’11 202 6/26/1997
81 Lucas Carlsson D Brynas Jr SWE 6′ 183 7/5/1997
82 Zachary Senyshyn W Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds OHL 6’1 192 3/30/1997
83 Yakov Trenin W Gatineau Olympiques QMJHL 6’1 192 1/13/1997
84 Glenn Gawdin C Swift Current Broncos WHL 5’11 179 3/25/1997
85 Gabriel Carlsson D Linkoping SWE 6’4 183 1/2/1997
86 Tyler Soy W Victoria Royals WHL 5’11 172 2/10/1997
87 Kyle Capobianco D Sudbury Wolves OHL 6’1 178 8/13/1997
88 Brendan Guhle D Prince Albert Raiders WHL 6’1 184 7/29/1997
89 Travis Dermott D Erie Otters OHL 5’11 197 12/22/1996
90 Andrew Mangiapane W Barrie Colts OHL 5’10 170 4/4/1996
91 Callum Booth G Quebec Remparts QMJHL 6’2 199 5/21/1997
92 Jeremy Lauzon D Rouyn-Norada Huskies QMJHL 6’2 194 4/28/1997
93 Samuel Montembeault G Blainville-Broisband Armada QMJHL 6’2 164 10/30/1996
94 Austin Wagner W Regina Pats WHL 6’2 181 6/23/1997
95 Giorgio Estephan C Lethbridge Hurricanes WHL 6′ 188 2/3/1997
96 Gustav Bouramman D Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds OHL 5’11 184 1/24/1997
97 Jesse Gabrielle W Regina Pats WHL 6′ 214 6/17/1997
98 Jesper Lindgren D MODO SWE 6′ 161 5/19/1997
99 Loik Leveille D Cape Breton Screaming Eagles QMJHL 6′ 220 9/25/1996
100 Gabriel Gagne C Victoriaville Tigres QMJHL 6’5 183 11/11/1996
101 Dryden Hunt C Medicine Hat Tiger WHL 6′ 199 11/24/1995
102 Spencer Smallman W Saint John SeaDogs QMJHL 6′ 184 9/9/1996
103 Brent Gates C Green Bay / University of Minnesota NCAA 6’1 196 8/12/1997
104 Samuel Dove-McFalls C Saint John SeaDogs QMJHL 6’2 207 4/10/1997
105 Adam Marsh W Saint John SeaDogs QMJHL 6′ 160 8/22/1997
106 Gustav Franzen C Kitchener Ranger OHL 5’11 174 9/22/1996
107 Brendan Warren W USNTDP / University of Michigan NCAA 6′ 191 5/7/1997
108 Ziyat Paygin D Ak Bars Kazan KHL 6’5 209 2/8/1995
109 Adam Gaudette C Cedar Rapids / Northeastern Univ. NCAA 6′ 170 10/3/1996
110 Christian Jaros D Lulea SWE 6’3 201 4/2/1996
111 Alexandre Goulet C Charlottetown QMJHL 5’11 195 4/5/1996
112 Roman Dymacek W HC Kometa Brno CZE 6′ 174 1/6/1997
113 Tate Olson D Prince George Cougars WHL 6’2 174 3/21/1997
114 Pavel Karnaukhov C Calgary Hitmen WHL 6’2 194 3/15/1997
115 Brad Morrison W Prince George Cougars WHL 5’11 154 1/4/1997
116 Jan Ordos W Bili Tygri Liberec CZE 5’11 176 9/18/1996
117 Mathieu Joseph W Saint John SeaDogs QMJHL 6′ 166 2/9/1997
118 Jan Dufek W HC Kometa Brno CZE 5’11 172 2/20/1997
119 Karch Bachman C USNTDP / Miami Ohio NCAA 5’11 179 3/10/1997
120 Joseph Cecconi D Muskegon / University of Michigan NCAA 6’2 205 5/23/1997
121 Kameron Kielly C Charlottetown Islanders QMJHL 6’1 183 12/13/1996