Playing the right point on an Albany Devils' power play the other night, Adam Larsson wristed a shot that missed the net, banged off the end boards and caromed all the way to the neutral zone on the left-wing side. It looked like a Hershey Bears penalty killer had a clear shot at racing forward to pick up the puck and speed in for a breakaway … but then, seemingly out of nowhere, Larsson was right there with his stick extended to retrieve the puck just in the nick of time. This was a saved scoring opportunity not many defenseman at any level can pull off, but Larsson's speed, skill, size and ability to read plays allowed him to make it look easy. Yet at the end of his shift, Larsson returned to the Albany bench with a headshake and look that showed disgust because he didn't do more to help his team score on the power play. There were several more shifts ending the same way for Larsson last Friday night when the 6-foot-3, 220-pounder was solid but not spectacular in the A-Devils' 3-2 shootout loss at Boardwalk Hall. "I think Adam's his own worst enemy sometimes," Albany coach Rick Kowalsky said. "He wants to be an impact, and sometimes he wants to make an impact every shift. He doesn't have to make a play that leads to a scoring chance. Sometimes he's got to make the simple play, and he's done that at times, but he has a tendency to get away from it. "There's obviously a ton of talent there. We've seen some signs of that. When he lets his instincts take over, I think that's when he's at his best." Three years into his pro career, the 21-year-old Swede, who was drafted by the Devils fourth overall in 2011, is a perfectionist on a personal mission to fulfill expectations. He wants to be something special playing defense in the NHL, just like his childhood hero Nicklas Lidstrom was for so many years for the Detroit Red Wings, yet for the time being he's a minor leaguer working on his game.
Adam Larsson frustrated in AHL, but still wants future with Devils, not elsewhere
Newark Star-Ledger | Feb 18