2023-24 Maple Leafs predictions: Max Domi recovers chemistry with Mitch Marner, mirrors 2018-19 form

Photo credit:Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Joseph Zita
9 months ago
After a slow start to free agency for Brad Treliving and company, he didn’t just sign Tyler Bertuzzi, but he also signed Max Domi to a one-year deal.
After losing Michael Bunting, Ryan O’Reilly and Alex Kerfoot in free agency, among others, their top-nine was going to look a little different, and different it is, but in my opinion, it looks better now than when the season ended.
An entire season of Matthew Knies, Tyler Bertuzzi and Max Domi in Toronto’s top nine alongside players we already know like Matthews, Marner and company, will bring more offence into the forward group.
Max Domi, the son of Maple Leafs legend Tie Domi, will be looking to bring not just his last name to the back of a Leafs jersey again but will try and rekindle his chemistry with fellow Leaf, Mitch Marner from their OHL days and continue from a pretty strong season last year split with Chicago and Dallas.
Domi, 28, has bounced around quite a bit throughout his NHL career.
Drafted by Arizona back in 2015, Domi was traded to Montreal not long after, and that’s where he had his breakout season – and thus his best season so far. At the age of 24 and already being on two NHL teams, he was traded to Columbus, where he would get flipped to Carolina at the trade deadline the following year.
After his brief stint with the Hurricanes for the 2022 playoffs, he signed a deal with Chicago and, again, would get flipped at the trade deadline to Dallas for the 2023 playoffs.
Six teams in eight years for Max Domi now brings him to Toronto for his ninth NHL season and his seventh NHL team.
It was a long road for the 28-year-old, but he has finally made his way to Toronto, where he will be ready to get things going and, as I said earlier, recover that chemistry with Marner dating back to their London Knights days.
Now, whether Keefe plays Domi with Matthews and Marner or he plays him with Tavares and Nylander or even the third line to start the season, I feel like he and Marner will eventually find their way together on a line at some point or even on a power-play unit, and that could benefit both players and the team.
Aside from his stellar 2018-19 season with Montreal, where he scored 28 goals and added 44 assists for 72 points in 82 games, Domi’s point totals haven’t been near that since.
Three straight seasons after that breakout year, he had 44 points in 71 games, 24 points in 54 games and 39 points in 72 games. However, it was until last year when he almost broke 60 points. He scored 20 goals – for the second time in his career – along with 36 assists for 56 points in 80 games while adding 13 points in 19 playoff games with the Stars.
If Toronto could get that similar production from Domi that would be excellent, but for the sake of this article, my prediction is that Domi and Marner will find their way on a line together at some point in the season and get that London chemistry back which could and should help Domi elevate his game and potentially get back to that 2018-19 form or at least close to it.
I wouldn’t be surprised whatsoever if Max Domi registers his third 20-goal season of his career while breaking 65 points.
(All stats from Hockey-Reference.com)

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