The Detroit Red Wings announced Friday that they've re-signed forward Dylan Larkin to a five-year contract extension, with The Athletic's Craig Custance noting it's worth $6.1 million annually.
Drafted 15th overall by the Red Wings in 2014, Larkin has quickly emerged as the team's top all-around player. Larkin - known for his game-breaking speed - is coming off a 63-point season, the best of his career.
Thus far, Larkin has 56 goals and 140 points in 242 career games. He led the Red Wings in scoring during the 2017-18 season, and his 16 goals placed Larkin in a tie for third on the team.
The Red Wings saw their 25-year playoff streak come to an end in 2017, and the team has since tried to transition towards a retooling stage. With so many expensive and impossible-to-trade players on the roster, general manager Ken Holland hasn't been able to fully commit to a rebuild.
But in re-signing Larkin, Holland ensures he has a franchise star that the team can build around for several more years. With prized prospect Filip Zadina (drafted sixth overall in 2018) in the fold, the Red Wings are quickly developing the next wave of franchise superstars.
In re-signing Larkin, CapFriendly.com indicates that the Red Wings have no salary cap space remaining. The good news is that Detroit will be free of the albatross Gustav Nyquist, Jimmy Howard and Niklas Kronwall contracts next summer, which will clear vital room for Holland.
Larkin's $6.1 million annual salary now makes him the highest-paid Red Wing, with captain Henrik Zetterberg ($6.083 million), coming in second. The latter has hinted at retirement in the near future, however, so perhaps Larkin is in line to succeed Zetterberg as captain.
Fresh of a career season and massive contract extension, it's now up to Larkin to take that next level of stardom in 2018-19, as Detroit tries to regain the glory days.