233 games straight in the QMJHL.
Obviously some would say it’s a far cry from what Keith Yandle, Phil Kessel and Doug Jarvis have done at the NHL level, but it’s as equally as incredible when you think about what Acadia-Bathurst Titan defenceman Cole Larkin has gone through to accomplish such a feat.
Larkin, originally a 3rd draft pick of the Halifax Mooseheads in 2018 was destined to play in the QMJHL.
Larkin didn’t crack the Mooseheads roster coming out of camp that season and was returned to the U-18 ranks. He was dominant at the level and at Christmas time that year he found himself on the trading block because the Herd were loading up.
Obviously, to get great players you have to trade great players and that’s exactly what Cam Russell did.
The Mooseheads loss was the Titan’s gain. Larkin was instantly called up to the Titan and you could say the rest is history.
It’s hard to believe that at the CHL level a player especially a young defender that plays the game the right way like Larkin does could in fact suit up in 233 straight.
There’s so many variables that go into any streak, but Larkin’s streak is extra special given the situation that he found himself in upon his arrival to Bathurst.
You see Larkin has witnessed and experienced junior hockey’s dreaded cycle. He was there when the Titan were getting thumped, he was there when they were loading up for a run and he’s there now for yet another off loading of talent.
He was never healthy scratched which is astonishing given his position, and the amount of coaches he has had. Obviously, some coaches love to send messages to young players and teams. No one ever dared to scratch Larkin, he was just too valuable, too important for the framework and direction of the organization.
Through it all the Cole Larkin never once questioned the process, he just laced them up every day and has played the game and the position with purpose and poise.
Cole Larkin goes to work every day and does his job. You can tell he takes a tremendous amount of pride in that, and his role with the Titan.
It’s not much wonder why the kid from Mermaid, PEI is wearing the “C” for the Titan. He’s a quiet fiercely competitive leader who has never backed down, who’s always there for his teammates and for the good of the team and game.
Win or lose, Cole Larkin always competed, was always there leading the way, in his own unique way.
The one constant through the entire multitude of events for the past five years in Acadie-Bathurst as been Cole Larkin.
233 games in a row.
That’s an astronomical accomplishment given the level and all of the uncertainty that comes with it.
Larkin has seen coaches and systems come and go. He has seen a plethora of players come and go. One could only imagine the amount of “D” partners he has had over the past five years, but through it all, you could always tell from a far that his love and passion for the game and position has never wavered.
You can tell a lot about a player and person’s character by the way they play and approach the game.
Cole Larkin is a glue guy, he’s the heart and soul of every team he’s ever suited up for. It’s never been about the personal accolades with Larkin, it’s all about team success.
I have no idea what the team record or league could be, but what Cole Larkin has done in this era of the game in the QMJHL is truly extraordinary.