On June 27, 2009, Thomas Larkin became the first ever Italian-trained player to be drafted by an NHL club. The son of an American father and Italian mother, he was born in London, England.
Larkin spent most of his life in Italy, then moved to the United States. He was switched to defense by his high school coach.
2008-09: High school senior with Phillips Exeter Academy. He set the single season scoring record for a defenseman with 52 points. Earned team MVP honors and All-New England honors. Ranked 87th among North Americans by Central Scouting (final).
2009-10: Larkin earned a big role as a freshman at Colgate University. In 33 games, the blueliner scored 3 goals and 16 assists. His 19 points led the team's defensemen.
2010-11: Larkin skated in 41 of 42 games for Colgate as a sophomore and also represented Italy at the 2011 IIHF Division 1A World Championship. Larkin and teammate Jeremy Price shared the team lead in goals for a defenseman with five each on a Colgate team that struggled for much of the season; finishing last in the ECAC Hockey League regular season standings. The Raiders turned things around late in the season – picking up 8 of their 11 wins after February 1st – and reached the semifinals of the conference tournament. Larkin finished +8 for the season and had 7 assists with 41 PMs. In four games for Italy he scored 1 goal and was +1 as Italy won three of four games to capture the tournament and return to the top pool for 2012.
2011-12: He was named captain of Colgate University as a junior last season and responded with 14 points (10 assists) in 37 games. The stay-at-home defender was once again named to the Italian national team and had four assists in 20 international games.
Larkin’s biggest challenge is to use his size to his advantage. At 6’5 he should be an imposing force in the collegiate game, but he is yet to be the physical force the Blue Jackets are hoping he can be.
Larkin will be heading back to Colgate University for his senior season and will need to turn some heads with his physical play. His true test will come when he plays in the AHL and he's no longer big enough to skate by everybody.