Columbus Blue Jackets Max Domi And His Unpredictable NHL Career

Max Domi

To say that forward Max Domi has had an unpredictable NHL career is stating the obvious. For one thing, he has been on three teams during his relatively short NHL career spanning six years. He was the 12th overall selection of the Arizona Coyotes in 2013. Domi had spent three seasons in Arizona and two with the Montreal Canadiens. He is currently with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Max Domi Has Had an Up And Down NHL Career

When one dissects Max Domi’s NHL career thus far, the word ‘constant’ just doesn’t fit. While he was a fan favourite in Arizona and found some instant chemistry with linemate Anthony Duclair. He was then traded to the Canadiens on June 15, 2018 for forward Alex Galchenyuk. Montreal signed him to a two-year $6.3 million deal.

While at the time that trade seemed equitable, Domi produced much better than Galchenyuk did. Domi tallied 28 goals and 44 assists his first year in Montreal playing in all 82 games. Galchenyuk only had 19 goals and 27 assists in Arizona.

Domi’s second year with the Habs wasn’t as productive. He collected 17 goals and 27 assists in 71 games. He averaged 17:15 of ice time and while there his points per game average was an excellent 0.76. That was an increase from 0.61 points per game while with the Coyotes.

Moving on to Columbus Hasn’t Been Too Great

In October of last year, Domi wore out his welcome in Montreal and was traded to the Blue Jackets in exchange of Josh Anderson. It was a blockbuster trade. Anderson has tallied 10 goals and three assists in 21 games and has averaged 0.62 points a game. Domi has not done that well yet. He only has three goals and four assists in 26 games. His ice time has been reduced to 14:36 and he’s only scoring at a meagre 0.27 rate.

Keep in mind, with Domi’s above-average play the Columbus club awarded him with a two-year $10.6 million contract. That doesn’t bode well for the Blue Jackets’ return on their investment. They are paying Domi $757,142,86 per point! Compare that to a grossly underpaid player like Conor Garland of the Coyotes who gets just $35,227,27 per point.

For whatever reason (and if you can figure out coach Tortorella’s thought process, great) Domi’s ice-time is the lowest in his six-year career at just 14:36. Could it be that coach Tortorella sees a flaw in his game, or is Domi in a slump? In either case, it doesn’t help the Blue Jackets’ plight. Domi was a highly touted forward who was expected to do much more scoring. He even could be considered trade bait, but his current performance… or lack thereof will hinder any club considering trading for him.

[pickup_prop id=”4467″]

Your Guess is as Good as Mine

Max Domi is a fierce competitor and can still salvage this season if he gets back on track. He has been placed on the third line with Riley Nash (2-G, 3-A) and Emil Bemstrom (0-G, 1-A) so the prospects of him improving seem low at best. Since the Blue Jackets acquired Patrik Laine and Jack Roslovic he doesn’t stand much of a shot to move up to the second or first line. Roslovic has performed marvelously with five goals and nine assists in 19 games. 

If and until Domi can start producing, his worth to the Blue Jackets remains in question. He seemed to flourish in Montreal and then got traded. Life in the NHL is not always what you dreamed it to be, and for Max Domi it’s a rough road back to normalcy. There’s no doubt he has the talent to succeed, and hopefully he won’t be traded to his fourth team in just six years in the NHL.

He plays for a really demanding coach in Tortorella and if you don’t perform in his system you sit on the bench. Ask Pierre-Luc Dubois about that. The next step seems to be that you get traded. That very well could happen, and why not before the trade deadline? Columbus is struggling in fifth place six points behind the Chicago Blackhawks for the final playoff spot. If Domi’s struggles continue, will he be dealt elsewhere?

For now, Max Domi’s up and down NHL career seems to be in a downward spiral… so there’s no place to go but up. Right?

Main Photo:

Embed from Getty Images