Now we’re starting to have some fun. Dylan Larkin is a true number one center for the Detroit Redwings and a player Sens fans would love to see Tim Stutzle turn into in the near future. To get this point out of the way quickly; Larkin was much better on the dot in his first two seasons than Stutzle was. At 41% and 45% respectively, there was always a sign that the Detroit center man would be a tough customer. That has translated to a career 52% win percentage at the faceoff circle, which is quite an accomplishment. Although if Stutzle continues to develop in that aspect, a few 40%+ seasons would at least make him respectable in that regard.
The place Stutzle shined over Larkin’s first two seasons would be point production. The latter put up forty-five and thirty-two points in eighty games each year. Coming out to a .48 point per game pace, that pales in comparison to what the former 3rd overall pick has accomplished to this point. There was a major improvement in his third season though. Larkin scored sixteen goals and forty-seven assists for sixty-three points, a whopping thirty-one point increase from the previous season. Keeping that in mind, Larkin has scored at a .82 point per game pace since the start of his third season. If Stutzle can up his game like Larkin did in his third season, who knows what kind of production the Senators could see from him.
This brings me to my third and final player comparison, and this one may hurt a bit. It’s a cautionary tale that sometimes players develop a bit later than others.