#1 - Max Domi- LW
Rank in last year’s 21 under 21? N/A (he was 21 years old at the time of the ranking)
Has He Played in the NHL?: Yes, 140 career games and 59 last season, all of which with Arizona
About Max Domi:
The Domi name rings a bell in every hockey fan around the league and it’s typically associated with someone getting knocked out and bleeding all over the ice. The Domi family is known for its fiestiness, and Max is no different than his father, Tie in that regard.
The big difference, as many NHL and Coyotes fan realize, is that Max combines that with an obscene amount of scoring talent.
aaaaaaand one more for good measure:
Max Domi, in those 3 videos, put up more goals than his father did over most of his 18 NHL seasons.
What makes Max elite, and in the grand scheme of the NHL, is his underrated speed and tenacity. Most top-tier NHL talents can pull off nifty backhands. Almost all of them have top-flight snapshots and scorching wristers. But very few go in to do the dirty work; grinding, pushing, finding those goals that have to be earned.
Max Domi has a work ethic hard to find, let alone replicate, in the NHL. To exemplify what a inhuman human being Domi is, he suffers from Type 1 Diabetes yet still trains and scores with the best. On top of that, he acts as a voice for young people suffering from diabetes and spent part of this summer working at camps for diabetic children, shaving his beard in a diabetes fundraiser as well as campaigning in Washington, DC on their behalf.
In addition to Domi’s athletic and caring sides, Max is also the talented ‘badger’ the Coyotes need. He sticks up for his teammates, fighting when he has to (or wants to).
He is a top young player in the NHL, and a foundational piece of Arizona as the team begins to develop itself in an effort to move out of the NHL’s cellar and into contention.
Also, he one-punched Ryan Kesler to the ice. Please, keep clapping.
What does the future hold for Max Domi?:
The future for Max Domi, much like many of the prospects behind him on this 25 Under 25 series, is very bright. The “sophomore slump” concept, which is really just the setting of expectations too high without expecting some players to come down to earth a little, hit Domi some last season. His production dropped 14 points, with his goal production halving.
But there is reason for that: he broke his hand in a fight against Calgary (and bloodied his face up pretty darn good, too), missing a large chunk of games during the latter half of the season.
The question for Domi, who’s coming back from the broken hand, is if that injury hampered his scoring touch he touted during his rookie campaign. If he has lost that touch, or is in and out of the press box with injuries in the coming years, the projection many saw his career taking may be stunted.
Yet many, including the staff here at Five For Howling, believe this to not be the case. Max Domi is now on a team exiting the rebuild, not enduring it. He will be earning top-6 ice time assuming new Head Coach Rick Tocchet doesn’t change how Domi is utilized, and will be surrounded by more developed and/or established NHL talent. His fellow young guns have had more time to grow with him and newly acquired Derek Stepan may end up centering Domi.
That centering change alone may boost Domi back into 50+ point production.
The sky is truly the limit for Domi and company. With a new coach, a savvy GM and gaggle of skill both on the team at each position and coming down the development pipeline, the team is ready to take the next step forward.
Max Domi is now a leader in the Coyotes’ locker room. He’s been there, he’s struggled and succeeded. The team’s future is bright, but it will get even greater as Domi shines brighter. This is his year to show us where his ceiling is, and if it’s as high as he knows it is, he should be getting a massive paycheck next offseason.