In the latest installment of the “2013 First Rounders: Where are they now?” series, we will take a look at Max Domi. Domi is a 5 foot 10 forward who plays like a 6 foot 3 power forward with hands of a Martin St. Louis. He currently scores goals for the London Knights of the OHL.
When and Where was he drafted?
The now Arizona Coyotes seemed prepared to take the diminutive forward and sure enough, Max Domi was picked by Don Mahoney with the 12th overall pick. There were still quality prospects available. Also, some felt Domi’s stock had dropped given his slightly volatile nature. Hey it is like father, like son right?
The Coyotes decided the gamble was worth it as they picked the 5 foot 9 inch, 185 pound little power forward.
For such a short player, Domi simply has a lower center of gravity than most but more importantly his leg strength was matched by very few prospects. His hands and ability to shoot quickly were skills that Arizona could not pass up. Ultimately, their plan was to give Domi at least a year or two to develop.
After a modest showing at the Coyotes 2013 training camp, he was sent back to the London Knights.
How His Season Went
It would have been tough for Domi to improve on an 87 point season that included 29 points in his first 19 playoff games. Then the forward managed to average around a point and a half per game. His 2013-14 campaign saw him hit the 90 point plateau in just 61 games. The 93 points included a big jump to 59 assists.
What people had to like was the fact that Domi looked a little less selfish out there. London was nowhere near the same team from a year ago but the Knights still managed to make the playoffs mostly on the shoulders of the little guy with a big heart. Ultimately, London would be eliminated pretty swiftly in the second round but Domi still had ten points in nine playoff contests. However, he did have just two points in the Memorial Cup as London was the host site. That still did not diminish the strides that were made last season.
Domi’s higher confidence was on clear display. There will always be a few questions here and there about team play but significant improvements have been made. Arizona has an abundant need for forwards with skill and let’s face it, the son of Tie Domi has some impressive skill. He seems to get it this year.
Since Domi was sent back to London before he could play an NHL game, it was at first tough to gauge improvements made from last year. However, there is a lot to like about the forward as his game has grown and so has the pace he plays the game at. This segment focuses on why Domi has improved. Just watch this goal from February against Barrie.
Thoughts on the Future
With the Radim Vrbata departure, it is not a secret that Domi could very well play his way onto a second line role with Arizona. It is just a matter of applying himself and sustaining his level of play.
Thanks to Jamie Eisner from Five For Howling for the quotes.
It’s cool,” Domi said of the high expectations. “At the end of the day, I still got to come to the rink to make the team, so it’s going to be a lot of hard work and I’m prepared to do that.
There is still a distinct possibility that Domi could be sent back to London but honestly that is becoming less and less likely. Don Maloney was rather impressed simply stating:
Every time he touched the puck, most times, something good happened. He made a lot of plays
Anyone know that coach Dave Tippett will likely have the last word but the more he plays, the more this summer appears to be different in a good way for Max Domi. Come October, the forward may just get his chance to start that NHL career.