Dylan Larkin was named captain of the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday.
"I think I understand the significance of this role. I've seen it my whole life, been a fan, been around fans, been to games, to know what it means to not only be a Detroit Red Wing, but to now be the captain," Larkin said. "I couldn't be more honored. I couldn't have ever dreamt it to be like this, but I just try to be myself every day and have a great support system.
"I have great teammates that allow me to do that, and it continues. It doesn't stop here. It doesn't change necessarily who I am. Makes me be more responsible and allows me to voice my opinion to the guys. It's very exciting. It's hard to put into words, but this means so much to me."
Larkin is Detroit's 37th captain and first since Henrik Zetterberg retired Sept. 14, 2018. He is the fourth captain of the Red Wings in the past 34 years, joining Steve Yzerman (1986-2006), Nicklas Lidstrom (2006-12) and Zetterberg (2012-18). Lidstrom and Yzerman, the longest-serving captain in NHL history, are two of the 13 members of the Hockey Hall of Fame who were Red Wings captains; the others are Marcel Dionne, Alex Delvecchio, Gordie Howe, Red Kelly, Ted Lindsay, Sid Abel, Ebbie Goodfellow, Syd Howe, Herbie Lewis, George Hay and Reg Noble.
"In order to lead people, you have to have respect from those that you're leading, and there is zero doubt that Dylan has the respect of every person in that room," Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said.
Larkin grew up in the Detroit area, played at the University of Michigan, and was selected by the Red Wings in the first round (No. 15) of the 2014 NHL Draft. The 24-year-old center is entering his sixth NHL season, was an alternate captain each of the past two, and has led the Red Wings in scoring in each of the past three, including 53 points (19 goals, 34 assists) in 71 games last season.
Yzerman, who was hired as Red Wings general manager April 19, 2019, has gotten a chance to get to know Larkin off the ice as well as seeing him on the ice on an everyday basis in his current role.
"Dylan is an extremely competitive and driven player who sets the standard for dedication and conduct for the Red Wings," Yzerman said. "This is the right time to name our new captain, and we're certain Dylan is ready to take on the responsibility. He will be an outstanding leader for us, both on and off the ice."
Three NHL teams remain without a captain: the New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers and Ottawa Senators. Forward Mark Stone was named captain of the Vegas Golden Knights on Wednesday.