Super rookies Larkin and Eichel face off

Posted at 6:34 PM, Dec 01, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-01 18:34:53-05

Standing in front of his locker, surrounded by reporters, Dylan Larkin wouldn't say a single bad thing about Jack Eichel.

As teammates with the US National Development team in Ann Arbor, Larkin could have shared something. Was Eichel a messy roommate? 

"No. He was pretty clean. We both were," Larkin said.

He wasn't biting.

Instead, the answers coming from both rookies on Tuesday were filled with compliments.

"He was always better, so he pushed me to be better," Larkin said.

The Red Wings 19-year-old phenom has 10 goals. He paces all NHL rookies in that category, and leads them with a plus-14 rating. Eichel has the fanfare, though, and has for as long as the two players have known each other.

Buffalo made Eichel the No. 2 overall pick in June's Entry Draft, and the franchise hopes it's found its new face. While he tries to rejuvenate a team, Eichel has kept an eye on his buddy.

"I've been following him, obviously. He's a good friend of mine. He's having a great year," he said of Larkin.

"You guys are all getting used to this. I've seen it for years now, so I'm not surprised."

Larkin admitted he is still personally getting used to all of the cameras in his face. That attention, he said, is something Eichel has dealt with since he was 16 years old.

Tuesday, in the same rink together since they were teammates with Team USA for the World Junior Championships, they're both facing a lot of outside interest.

"Now to be at the highest level in our first year together, it's pretty cool," Larkin said.

Brad Galli is an anchor and reporter at WXYZ Detroit. Follow Brad on Twitter @BradGalli