Domi went from a head-scratching acquisition to a star in his first year.
In mid-June of last year when most were waiting to see what the Montreal Canadiens were going to do at the draft, Marc Bergevin made a move to change the look of the club heading into the off-season.
Domi was a similar player with plenty of hype but without the realization of that potential at the NHL level. Unlike Galchenyuk, Domi hadn’t shown the goal-scoring chops, with fewer tallies in the previous two seasons combined than Galchenyuk had in what was deemed a poor 2017-18 campaign.
Domi still needed a contract after being acquired as a restricted free agent. The details of a two-year deal were announced the day after his acquisition.
He may not have been much of a goal-scorer, but Domi’s passing ability was his biggest asset, and one the Canadiens had need of. Ironically, Galchenyuk would have been a player who complemented that the most, but there were still a few scorers on the team who would benefit from Domi’s style.
Domi was introduced to the media in Montreal during the organization’s development camp in early July. He spoke candidly about the state of his offensive game and glowingly about the city of Montreal and the opportunity and challenge it presented him.
August 30, 2018: 2018 Montreal Canadiens Top 25 Under 25: #2 Max Domi
After a month or so to digest the news of the trade, look into his game more, and hear from him about his approach to his Habs tenure, the outlook for his future was high — enough to land him in second place on our list of the top players under the age of 25 in the organization.
September 13, 2018: Max Domi has the skill set to play centre for the Montreal Canadiens
Domi had been a winger for the majority of his hockey career, but his passing skills and decent positioning made him a candidate to take one of the long-empty centre roles on the team. Turning a winger into a centre hadn’t worked out well for Jonathan Drouin — or even Domi in Arizona — the previous season, but the evidence pointed to Domi faring much better with that change in position.
October 26, 2018: Max Domi is elevating his game as a Montreal Canadien
No one expected Domi to hit the ground running in that new role, but he had an incredible start to the season and looked very comfortable in the middle of the ice.
November 1, 2018: Montreal Canadiens Organizational Players of the Month – October
After the first month, there was little debate as to who the Canadiens’ top player was. Domi had 11 points in October, including five goals; over halfway to his total from each of the previous two seasons.
November 20, 2018: Max Domi is having one of the greatest campaigns in modern Canadiens history
The momentum didn’t slow in November. In fact, he ramped it up. November brought another 15 points and had him on pace for a point-per-game season.
December 1, 2019: Montreal Canadiens Organizational Players of the Month – November
Domi’s bid to sweep the monthly accolades continued, with our player of the month title belonging to him like the Molson Cup has typically belonged to Carey Price in recent years.
A 13th goal and 30th point in the 29th game of the season would be spectacular production for an established NHL superstar, let alone one who struggled to find offence in Arizona. Coupled with his intesity on the ice and how he embraced the pressure of his situation, he seemed a perfect fit for the team.
July 3, 2019: Max Domi’s move to Montreal was a fresh start for all
It turns out he just needed the right environment to thrive in, and he found that in Montreal. In the span of one season, he established himself an an important piece of the club.
After 18, nine, and nine goals once again, Domi exploded for 28 goals in his first year wearing a Canadiens jersey. In his talks with the media at his introduction, he revealed that his shooting wasn’t great, and that was something Mats Sundin was pressuring him to improve. It seems the player who once nearly became a Canadiens player put his influence on the team a decade later.
July 5, 2019: Finding Max Domi’s ideal linemates
Despite plenty of time beside Jonathan Drouin, Domi looked best in his time with Andrew Saw. With Shaw traded to Chicago, Domi needs to find new players to play with. Artturi Lehkonen(once he’s re-signed) could be a good option. Ryan Poehling, should he be back with the big club in the fall, could prove to be another.