UM's Larkin to skate for U.S. at World Championships

David Goricki
The Detroit News

Michigan freshman Dylan Larkin enjoyed competing in the World Junior Championships so much this past winter that he decided to play for Team USA in the 2015 IIHF Men's World Championships as well.

Of course, it's not as simple as that.

Larkin had to be invited to compete for the U.S. National Team to make it happen. USA Hockey announced Tuesday he earned a spot on the roster and will compete in the World Championships — the highest level of international competition — from May 1-17 in the Czech Republic.

It is just the second time a Wolverine has been selected to compete at the World Championships while enrolled at Michigan. Dave Debol was picked to play for Team USA in 1977 after a single-season school-record 99 points (43 goals, 56 assists).

Larkin, who was picked in the first round (15th overall) of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft by the Red Wings, led Big Ten freshmen in scoring with 47 points, including 15 goals, ranking second nationally for first-year players to Hobey Baker award winner Jack Eichel of Boston University.

"It's a great honor to just be this young and on the team," Larkin said. "It's something you dream of. To be playing for (Team USA) at the highest level, it's awesome. As soon as I got the call, I knew this is exactly what I wanted to do, and I'm really excited for it. I'm counting the days until I leave for the tournament.

"Everyone's proud to be representing their country. You're playing with all of these great players from the same country. It's special for everyone involved. It will be challenging (playing against other countries), but it will be one of the best learning experiences of my life. It's a huge opportunity for me and I'll try to make the most of it."

Larkin played for Team USA in the World Junior Championships in Montreal in late December and early January, leading the team with five goals and seven points in five games … with Eichel on the team.

Michigan coach Red Berenson wants Larkin to return for his sophomore year, but Larkin has yet to decide his future with the Wolverines.