NHL defenseman are usually the hardest position to predict. It takes players years to master the art of a being a true two-way superstar. Such is the case with New Jersey Devils blue-liner Adam Larsson, who is blossoming into one of the league’s hottest young stars.
It doesn’t seem fair to call Larsson a young star, as he has been on an NHL roster for the better part of four seasons. However, Larsson is only 22 and is just know reaching his full potential.
Drafted fourth overall during the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Adam Larsson has taken his time adjusting to the NHL style of play.
Already written off by most, this season has seen Larsson make huge strides towards the future. Splitting time between New Jersey and Albany (AHL), he hasn’t truly been able to showcase that game changing ability many thought he could. However, when the New Jersey Devils fired head coach Pete DeBoer in late December something inside Larsson clicked, and he has become an entirely different player.
What the new coaching staff has done is given Larsson a chance to play. That’s something DeBoer failed in doing, as he would occasionally sit Larsson on the bench or make him a healthy scratch. The coaching trio of Lou Lamoriello, Scott Stevens and Adam Oates have given Larsson the opportunity to play on a consistent basis.
“It’s more to just show that they trust me. I think that’s all I needed. I just needed to show that they trusted me,” Larsson said.
After the team’s firing of DeBoer, Larsson has gone on a tear offensively. After only scoring three points through the first two months of the NHL season, Larsson has amassed 13 points through January and February. The more confident play hasn’t gone unnoticed. Fellow Devils defenseman Eric Gelinas told the New Jersey Advance he has seen a change in Larsson.
“I think he’s a changed player. You see the way he plays. He’s more assertive, he’s trying plays. He’s playing with confidence. He’s a great player and now he’s really using all his potential.”
There is a bright future ahead for Adam Larsson. He is still a relatively young defenseman and has shown tremendous growth. If he can remain confident in himself there might not be a limit to his enormous upside.