Max Domi Is Toronto Maple Leafs Most Underrated Signing

Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports /

Max Domi will end up being one of the best signings of Brad Treliving’s career as GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

It’s crazy to think that Max Domi will be falling in his father’s footsteps 17 years after he retired with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Originally drafted by the Leafs in 1988, Domi only played two games before being traded to the New York Rangers. He would eventually return in 1994, where he’d play 11 seasons and become one of the biggest fan-favorites this team has ever had.

Domi was one of the toughest guys in the NHL and played a big role during the Leafs last solid playoff-run’s in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Now that his son Max has joined the organization, he’ll look to do something that his dad never did: win a Stanley Cup.

Based on his last name, Domi will be the center of attention in the media, but as someone who grew up with a famous dad, the spotlight shouldn’t rattle him. He was a big deal during his junior career with the London Knights and played great during his time with Team Canada at the World Junior Hockey Championships, so that stage shouldn’t scare him.

However, there seems to be a lot of hate around this player even though he only signed a contract for one-year at $3M. Personally, I don’t understand it because Domi’s career has been filled with unfortunate circumstances and he has been far from a first-round bust.

Domi Will Be a Fantastic Fit with Toronto Maple Leafs

During Domi’s first eight seasons, you may not believe this, but he’s finished inside the top-three in team points on six occasions. Just look for yourself:

  • 2015-16 (all stats via
    • 81 games: 18 goals, 52 points (2nd on team in points)
  • 2016-17:
    • 59 games: 9 goals, 38 points (3rd on team in points)
  • 2017-18:
    • 82 games: 9 goals, 45 points (3rd on team in points)
  • 2018-19:
    • 82 games: 28 goals, 72 points (1st on team in points)
  • 2019-20:
    • 71 games: 17 goals, 44 points (3rd on team in points)
  • 2020-21:
    • 54 games: 9 goals, 24 points (5th on team in points)
  • 2021-22:
    • 53 games: 9 goals, 32 points (Traded during season)
    • Carolina Hurricanes stats not included
  • 2022-23:
    • 60 games: 18 goals, 49 points (1st on team in points – traded during season)
    • Dallas Stars stats not included

Ever since his rookie year, Domi has been one of the best players on his team, although you’d never think that based on how dominant his junior career was. As the 12th overall pick and someone who had three 30-plus goal seasons, including a 32 goal and 102 point season during his last year of junior, many expected him to be more dominant league-wide more.

Despite only having one big season that got attention league-wide (2018-19 in Montreal), Domi has been one of the best players on his team every year. Unfortunately he’s played on a bunch of terrible teams without much talent, so he hasn’t been able to hit his potential.

For the first time in his career, Domi is playing on a team that has real expectations. He’s also playing on a team where he’s not going to be looked at to be the best player on the ice every night, which could free him up.

It’s clear that Domi shouldn’t be your number-one centre or best player on your team, but when he plays on a roster that has a skilled winger beside him, he plays exceptionally well. Him and Jonathan Drouin had amazing chemistry when he played in Montreal and then the same thing happened during last year’s playoff when he played alongside Tyler Seguin.

Depending on where Domi fits, he could have one of Mitch Marner, John Tavares, Tyler Bertuzzi, Matthew Knies, Auston Matthews, William Nylander and/or Calle Jarnkrok as his wingers next year, which is as deadly as an option as you could imagine.

Domi’s best attribute has always been his playmaking skills, so the fact that he’ll have that many skillful players to pass the puck to should make the rest of the NHL worried.

Next. 3 Hypothetical Leafs Trades. dark

For all of those Domi haters out there, I think you need to think again.