Arizona Coyotes forward Max Domi, preparing for his third NHL training camp, has learned to set his priorities.
“I just want to make the team,” Domi told the Coyotes website this week. “I’m not looking too far ahead. There’s a lot of young guys here that are trying to come in and earn a spot too.”
Domi, the 12th pick of the 2013 NHL Draft, was one of the final players cut by the Coyotes the past two seasons.
Rather than sulk after coming so close to achieving his NHL dream, he returned to his junior team, London of the Ontario Hockey League, and dominated.
In 2013-14, he had 34 goals and 93 points in 61 games. Last season, he was named captain and had 32 goals and 102 points in 57 games. He had five goals and 10 points in seven games to help Canada win the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship. Domi tied for the WJC lead in goals and was named the tournament’s best forward.
When Domi arrived for Coyotes development camp this summer, coach Dave Tippett called Domi’s development the past two years phenomenal and said the 20-year-old is ready for full-time NHL work.
“I hope so,” Domi said when asked if he agreed with Tippett. “Obviously it’s a big step from junior to the NHL and you’ve got to adjust your game and adjust everything you do. I’ve got a lot to work on here, and obviously I’m going to be just acting like a sponge throughout training camp and just learning as much as I can. I can’t wait.”
Domi, the Coyotes’ No. 1 prospect according to NHL.com, is the centerpiece of their young forwards, which includes Anthony Duclair, Domi’s linemate at World Juniors; and Christian Dvorak, Domi’s teammate the past two seasons with London. Also competing for spots will be Brendan Perlini, the 12th pick of the 2014 NHL Draft, and Dylan Strome, the No. 3 pick of the 2015 NHL Draft.
“I want to make the team and I want to help these guys win,” Domi said. “… The core group they have here is outstanding. There’s a couple of young guys and we just want to come in here and do whatever we can to help these guys win.”