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Realistic expectations for Max Domi

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With just fifteen days to go before the preseason begins, what can Coyotes fans expect from Max Domi?

Christian Petersen

Max Domi is all but a lock to make the Arizona Coyotes this season. With the losses of both Mike Ribeiro and Radim Vrbata, there is a desperate need for offense on the roster. And with 94 goals and 135 assists in three seasons with the London Knights, Domi appears to be the best candidate in the Coyotes system to provide that offense. But how much should fans expect Domi to contribute?

Great Expectations

To expect Max Domi to win the Calder Trophy is more than a little unreasonable, but by looking at the production totals of the last four Calder Trophy winners (all forwards), there is a way to establish a ceiling for production should everything go right for Domi.

Production Totals of the Last Four Calder Tropy Recipients Goals Assists Even-Strength Corsi For %
Jeff Skinner (2010-11) 31 32 50.1%
Gabriel Landeskog (2011-12) 22 30 55.6%
Jonathan Huberdeau (2012-13)* 14 17 51.2%
Nathan MacKinnon (2013-14) 24 39 46.7%

*Note: Huberdeau played only 48 games as part of the lockout shortened season. In a full 82 game season Huberdeau was on pace to record 53 points.

In their first full seasons in the NHL, each Calder Trophy recipient recorded at least 50 points and 20+ goals. Considering neither Ribeiro or Vrbata recorded over 50 points last year, if Domi had a Calder caliber season, he would make the Coyotes' offensive woes considerably less serious.

Present Company

Judging the talent level of an NHL draft class is a very tall order. It becomes more difficult to set expectations for a player like Domi given so few of his draft classmates have seen NHL action at this point. But there are two first round picks who played a full season in the NHL last year (in addition to the previously mentioned MacKinnon): Calgary's Sean Monahan, and Dallas' Valeri Nichushkin.

While neither player had the caliber season that MacKinnon did, they both put up respectable numbers in their own rights. Both Monahan and Nichushkin recorded 34 points (22G, 12A for Monahan, and 14G, 20A for Nichushkin) and saw significant action in their respective teams' top six forwards.

Final Thoughts

The good news for Domi is the acquisition of Sam Gagner should relieve some of the pressure to put up spectacular numbers in his rookie season. The Coyotes are convinced that Gagner can get back to the 45-50 point range that characterized many of his early years in Edmonton. If Mikkel Boedker continues to improve and Gagner meets the team's expectations, then a thirty point campaign from Max Domi should be enough to replace the offense the team lost this offseason.