In his quest to add more speed to the organization, Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli has gone an unusual route to add another prospect forward to the system. Earlier on Monday, the club officially announced a one-year entry-level deal with Colin Larkin. The 24-year old is the older brother of Detroit’s Dylan Larkin and played Division three NCAA hockey the last four years.
Larkin served as the captain at UMass-Boston last season of the NEHC and registered 24-22-46 in 27 contests. Larkin’s offensive totals improved each of his four years with the club, with his 2017-18 season being his best.
According to those who have seen Larkin play and those who have played against him, the 6’3” forward possesses a nice combination of size, speed and skill. Obviously, the speed and skill part fits what Chiarelli is looking for currently.
I’m not sure Larkin has what it takes to make it to the NHL, but he was one of the best skilled players in D3 this past season and has the speed that the club is looking for. At the very worst, he’ll be an ECHL/AHL forward for next season. This will allow the Oilers to see what he’s got. It’s also my understanding that the Oilers weren’t the only team in on Larkin.
Larkin’s contract won’t come into effect until July 1st, but he’ll join the Oilers organization immediately. The forward has signed an amateur try-out contract (ATO) with the Bakersfield Condors and will join the club for the remainder of the season.
On a team with limited forward options, it will be interesting to see what Larkin does with his opportunity.
In addition to Larkin, the Condors have signed another D3 player to an ATO, bringing aboard Endicott College’s Logan Day for the remainder of the season. Day is an offensive defender who has a high skill level and also possesses some speed. The 6’1” right-shot D scored 38 points (15-23-38) in 26 games this past season.
It’s very possible that neither of these moves works out in the long-term, the reality is that both of these players are long-shots. That said, they were two of the best players at the D3 level this season, and have earned looks at the minor league level.
It’ll be very interesting to see what Larkin and Day can do with their tryouts here the rest of the season in Bakersfield. I wouldn’t be shocked if Day was a candidate for an AHL-contract this summer.