BY RYAN WOLSTAT, TORONTO SUN
TORONTO – Apparently, one Domi wasn’t enough for Leafs fans.
Supporters of the Blue and White are eager for the team to draft Max Domi, the son of legendary former Leafs enforcer Tie Domi at this weekend’s NHL Draft.
Toronto currently owns the 21st pick of the first round, which goes Saturday at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
The younger Domi is expected to be drafted higher than that, so the team likely would have to trade up to get him.
A poll at the Toronto Maple Leafs Facebook page indicates that the fanbase would overwhelmingly support such a decision.
Fans were asked to choose the player they wanted the team to select, and Domi received 79% of the nearly 3,000 votes tallied at press time.
The list included his London Knights linemate Bo Harvat, who was running second, at about 10% of the votes.
Interestingly, Kerby Rychel, of the Windsor Spitfires, was running fourth. Rychel’s father Warren, another former NHL tough guy, was briefly a teammate of Tie Domi’s in Toronto.
Domi, drafted 27th overall by the Leafs in 1988, played two games for the club before eventually being reacquired in 1995. He went on to spend 10 more seasons with Mats Sundin and co., becoming one of the most popular players in team history for his ability to pummel far bigger opponents (he stood just 5-foot-8) and to chip in with goals and points as well.
Domi is Toronto’s all-time leader in penalty minutes, and third overall in NHL history.
Max Domi is a far different player than his father. His hands are used to make ridiculous plays. He’s an offensive force and proven goal scorer.
He eclipsed Tie’s junior scoring numbers in his first year of OHL play and scored 39 goals and added 48 assists (8th in the league in points) in 64 games this season for London. He then added an impressive 32 points in 21 post-season contests (second-best in the OHL).
While he doesn’t have the edge of his father, observers say he picked up Tie’s competitive spirit.
“The thing he does have from dad is that he plays with grit and is unafraid,” David Gregory, of NHL Central Scouting told NHL.com recently.