Dylan Larkin signed a five-year, $30.5 million contract with the Detroit Red Wings on Friday. It has an average annual value of $6.1 million.
"I feel pretty emotional right now about it," the center, a native of Waterford, Michigan, less than 40 miles from Detroit, told the Red Wings website. "I don't know if it's setting in or anything, but I got a lot of texts today and a lot of congratulations. I'm very proud to be from Waterford and be a local boy playing for the Red Wings -- and five more years, I think it's awesome, it's a great feeling."
The 22-year-old, who was a restricted free agent, had an NHL career-high 63 points (16 goals, 47 assists) in 82 games with the Red Wings last season, leading them in points and assists. Larkin has missed four games in three NHL seasons.
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"I think he's made tremendous progress in learning to play a 200-foot game," general manager Ken Holland said. "His first year [as a] pro he played left wing with [Henrik] Zetterberg and had a real nice rookie year with 23 goals. The past two years we transitioned him from left wing to center ice, where there's more responsibility.
"He led our team in scoring last year and became way better defensively and played way more important minutes. At age 22, his best years are ahead of him."
Detroit selected Larkin with the No. 15 pick in the 2014 NHL Draft. He has 140 points (56 goals, 84 assists) in 242 NHL games and one goal in five Stanley Cup Playoff games.
Larkin is the last of five young players re-signed by the Red Wings this offseason, joining forwards Tyler Bertuzzi (age 23, two year-contract) Anthony Mantha (23, two-year contract), Andreas Athanasiou (24, two-year contract) and Martin Frk (24, one-year contract). But he got the longest contract of the five.
Video: NYI@DET: Larkin sneaks puck past Greiss
"Dylan's resume is a little more accomplished," Holland said, "and that's why we signed him to a longer-term contract with a bigger commitment."
Despite the security of a long-term contract, Larkin said he's taking nothing for granted.
"I want to earn this and make the team proud," he said. "I want this to be something that they look back and they say that they made the right move to sign me to five years. There's a bit of pressure there but it's still the game that I love and I can't wait to start up."