Sportsnet.ca is previewing the top 30 prospects in the 30 days leading up to the National Hockey League draft in New Jersey on June 30.
The No. 13 prospect in our countdown is the shifty and dynamic scorer from the London Knights, Max Domi.
London Knights (OHL) | 64 GP | 39 G | 48 A | 87 P | +33 | 71 PIM
Who is Max Domi?
Domi’s bloodlines to his father, former NHL pugilist Tie Domi, are well-documented, as is the fact he doesn’t play anything like the former Toronto Maple Leafs enforcer. Domi is an offensive dynamo who stands five-foot-nine and weighs 185 pounds. He was a key cog during the London Knights’ back-to-back J. Ross Robertson Cups as Ontario Hockey League champions. He finished second in OHL playoff scoring with 32 points in 21 games and tied for eighth in regular season scoring.
Domi also led Canada to a gold medal at the 2012 Ivan Hlinka Memorial under-18 tournament and Team Ontario to a bronze at the 2012 world under-17 hockey challenge. Domi wears No. 16 in honour of former Philadelphia Flyer Bobby Clarke, a diabetic to whom Domi can relate since he has Type 1 diabetes.
Max Domi’s scouting report:
Domi is a dynamic, offensively-gifted sniper. He’s a prolific scorer with electrifying puck skills that can even surprise his own teammates. Domi possesses a pinpoint accurate wrist shot and a scorer’s instincts. He’s unselfish with the puck and equally dangerous as a playmaker. His skating is superb and he can simply fly on the ice. His defensive game is a work-in-progress, but he does show a willingness to rush back in his end and contribute. Domi is blessed with offensive imagination and creativity and could develop into an elite scorer at the NHL level.
Teams who might be interested in Max Domi:
Domi’s offensive premium should mean his wait on draft day will be short. Among the teams that should be looking at the gifted Knights’ sniper are the Dallas Stars, Philadelphia Flyers, Phoenix Coyotes and Winnipeg Jets. All four of those teams could use an offensive injection in their lineup within the next two-to-three years and Domi would fit that bill perfectly.
“He’s a point producer,” describes David Burstyn, director of scouting for McKeen’s Hockey. “He just manufactures offence and he can make the puck talk. He can stickhandle in the rain without getting the puck wet. He’s fiercely competitive when he has the puck. Needs to play a little bit better without the puck; he showed that ability in the playoffs playing a better two-way game, and was very good in the London Knights’ run to another OHL championship. He faltered a bit in the Memorial Cup with a minus-9 rating.
“However,” Burstyn concludes, “this is a player that creates offence every single time he touches the puck. He gets a lot of touches during the game and he’s a guy that can not only take fans out of their seats, but also scouts with his moves. I know everyone will talk about the saucer pass through his legs he made at the Memorial Cup, but he’s been kind of doing that all year. I’ve gone on record to say it’s not inconceivable for him to potentially lead the OHL next year in scoring. And he could also potentially rival for a brief NHL audition next year, depending on where he gets picked.”
“Domi is a very exciting and creative offensive player who can churn out highlight reel plays night after night,” adds Ross MacLean, head scout for International Scouting Services. “He thinks the game incredibly well around the puck and has the quick hands and elusive edge control to win space at speed and in contested areas. He loves taking the puck to the middle ice and is very good at zone entries and pushing pucks to the net. He needs to improve his defensive commitment, as he tends to try to do it all on his own offensively at times, which can prove very risky. He still has some lessons to learn and some development left that, combined with his present skill level, makes him a very exciting prospect.”
Domi was ranked 19th by the NHL’s Central Scouting (North American skaters), ninth by McKeen’s Hockey and 25th by International Scouting Services.