The 2023 NHL All-Star Game was a weekend to remember for Detroit Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin. From walking the red carpet to meeting a Learn to Play participant to competing in the Fastest Skater competition, Larkin had a memorable experience in South Florida. But the highlight of the weekend was when Larkin scored a hat trick to help the Atlantic Division defeat the Central Division in the final of the All-Star Game.

At All-Star Media Day, Larkin fielded questions from reporters with Fort Lauderdale Beach and the Atlantic Ocean as his backdrop. Before arriving at FLA Live Arena for the Skills Competition on Friday, Larkin walked the red carpet while signing autographs for fans. At the end of the red carpet, Larkin met with Maddie Shankie, the Red Wings’ Learn to Play participant who was invited to South Florida for All-Star Weekend.

Larkin finished fourth in the Fastest Skater competition, completing the course in 14.558 seconds. Carolina Hurricanes forward Andrei Svechnikov won the event with a time of 13.757 seconds. Larkin still holds the Fastest Skater record (13.172 seconds), which he set as a rookie in 2016.

On Saturday night, Larkin recorded two goals and one assist in a 10-6 win over the Metropolitan Division in the semifinals, and then tallied a hat trick to help the Atlantic defeat the Central Division, 7-5, in the final of the All-Star Game.

Larkin also had the opportunity to meet hockey legend Wayne Gretzky for the first time, which he said was a personal highlight from the weekend.

When asked if he had any advice for aspiring professional hockey players, Larkin said “they gotta know that I was once a kid just like them. I was watching hockey every night as much as I could and idolizing those players. To think that I’m out on the ice out there with them (NHL All-Stars) and sharing conversations as well as laughs, it’s something I never really thought I would be doing. It’s very special to me and for my family because they enjoy this as well. I’m very proud of where I’ve come, but it took hard work. It’s not unachievable. I’m living proof of that.”

This year’s NHL All-Star Weekend was a memorable experience for Dylan Larkin, and his hard work and dedication to the game of hockey was evident in his performance. His story is an inspiration to aspiring hockey players, and serves as a reminder that anything is possible if you put in the work.