Cole Larkin’s time in St. Louis was “awesome” for the 19-year-old defenceman. Larkin was in Missouri to attend the St. Louis Blues’ rookie camp. It’s the first time in Larkin’s major junior career he has been invited to an NHL camp.
“We started off we went to right in the city downtown St. Louis and we did a bit of a development camp for three or four days there,” said Larkin. “And then the team travelled over to Traverse City in Michigan and we played a…rookie tournament there.”
Larkin’s favourite takeaway from his time at the development camp and tournament was “the whole experience of being able to experience how professional it is and how cool it was to be able to be treated like an NHLer.”
“And practicing in their facilities and their staff and meeting some of the professional players. And also the games, the games were really fun, it was really high pace and I learned a lot.”
When the puck drops Oct.1 in the home opener against Moncton, Larkin will hit the ice in his fourth season playing major junior for the Titan. Playing the majority of his junior hockey career with Bathurst is “awesome” for the blue-liner from Mermaid, P.E.I. “I started there halfway through my 16-year-old year and I’ve been there ever since,” he said. “And whenever I started we were just a young team and we grew as an organization and I’m really looking forward to this year. We’re going to have a good team.”
Larkin has suited-up for 141 career games to date, registering two goals and 27 assists for an overall plus/minus of -50. During the 2020-21 regular season he had one goal and 12 assists in 33 games for 13 points at +8 and in the nine playoff games this past spring he had two goals.
Speaking to last season and what he hopes to achieve this year, Larkin reiterated they were a “pretty young team” in 2020-21 but they did well despite playing during a pandemic. “I thought our team did really well and we made it to the playoffs,” he said. “And this year I’m hoping to improve on that. We’re all a little older now, another year older. So, we’re just going to try and improve.”
“This year I really think we have a good to go for the Memorial Cup.”
Larkin – drafted 34th overall in the second round of the 2018 QMJHL Entry Draft by Halifax – stands six-foot-two and weighs 183-pounds. Larkin was one of 10 Titan who secured roster sports with various NHL development and rookie camps prior to the QMJHL regular season.
Here’s a quick Q&A from his time with St. Louis:
Q: What was the experience like at St. Louis’ rookie camp?
A: Like I said, it was awesome. I learned a lot from the coaches and the staff there, and it was a really, cool experience to be able to use their facilities. And, yeah, it was just an overall great experience [and] I learned a lot.
Q: What was your biggest take away from your time with the Blues?
A: Biggest takeaway is just how professional the top-level athletes are. How well they treat their body and how important that is to be able to perform at the highest level.
Q: How did it feel to be one of 10 Titan players attending various NHL rookie camps?
A: That’s awesome for our organization. It just, it shows that our young core group of guys is really showing themselves now and we’re becoming a really, good team. I’m looking forward to this year.
Q: How do you feel this experience will help the Titan this season?
A: I think each guy will…bring something back from their NHL camp. I’m sure everyone learned something, and it was just a big eye-opener to how professional athletes, how they act and how they perform. And I think that’s going to help us to bring that back to our own team and show the younger guys how you have to perform, and how you have to treat yourself and your body to play at the highest level.
Q: What is your own personal goal this season?
A: Personal goal I want to prove to everyone that I can be a two-way defenceman to contribute to my team in the best ways I can, however that may be. And just do everything I can for the team and help us going for that end goal of the Memorial Cup.
Q: What is your team goal?
A: Team goal is for sure to win the Memorial Cup. I think we have the team to do it and I’m really, excited.
Q: What skill set do you bring to the Titan?
A: I think right now I’m more a defensive defenceman and makes a good first pass who can play good defensively. And I’m also trying to bring some offense into my game.
Q: What were you looking forward to the most about returning to Bathurst?
A: I’m just looking forward to getting started. You know, I’m really, excited. I learned a lot here and I want to bring that back to the younger guys back in Bathurst and get the season going. I’m really excited for it.
Q: What is your favourite thing about being a Titan?
A: I think my favourite thing is just the atmosphere, you know, the coaches and staff and the teammates we’re all really, close group of people and the (city is) awesome. And I think this year’s going to be really, fun.
Q: If you could describe this year’s team in one word, what would it be?