Preparation for the NHL Draft is a tad different for the New York Islanders in 2013. For the first time since 2007, you will not hear Garth Snow called to the podium to make one of the draft’s first five picks. Actually, for the first time ever, Garth Snow has a non-lottery first round draft choice to use.
The Islanders are slotted to pick 15th on June 30th, Draft Day, the first time the Islanders will be selecting outside of the top ten since they drafted Ryan O’Marra 15th-overall in 2005. The depth of this year’s draft is deep, so the Islanders should have a surplus of highly touted prospects to choose from when it’s their turn to add to the organization’s already deep prospect pool.
The Isles won’t get every player, but they will get somebody they should be able to utilize for years to come. Keep in mind that the draft is never about selecting for need, but selecting the best pick available. Today, Eyes on Isles looks at Max Domi, son of Tie – a forward who, if drops, would be a steal at pick #15.
Max Domi, Forward, London Knights, OHL
64 GP – 39 G – 48 A – 87 Pts
Domi, ranked 19th by Central Scouting, will be taking his seat in Newark as a potential top-10 selection despite his 5’11, 193-pound frame. Like his father, Max is of small stature, but if you haven’t seen Max play, you would also see he is nothing like his father on the ice.
While Tie Domi fought his way out of Peterborough of the OHL to earn the 29th selection in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft, Max will enter the NHL as one of those players that Tie would have “protected.” Max, a centre who also plays the wing and led the London Knights in scoring this season, is loaded with skill.
Max Domi is one of the best skater’s in this year’s draft class. With an explosive first two-steps, Max has a very high maximum speed, and it doesn’t take him long to reach it. To go with his speed, Domi has a high degree of shiftiness on the ice. He can change direction on a dime, making him an extremely dangerous threat when he has the puck.
Domi also has incredible hands. Combined with his great vision on the ice, Domi’s hands make for an incredible playmaker. There truly aren’t many passes he can’t make. Take a look at his recent assist during the Memorial Cup, if you would like to see it for yourself.
Just because he isn’t Tie, though, doesn’t mean he didn’t take away a little something from being his son. Domi is willing to get involved in the physical aspect of the game. He can be an agitator, which is something every team could have.
Why Would he Fit in on the Island?
When I watch Max Domi, two things absolutely stand out that would make him an instant fit for the New York Islanders:
1) If you’re turned off by his size, don’t be. Obviously, Domi’s not a big guy, but for what he lacks in size, he makes up with heart. Domi rarely gets outworked on the ice, which parallels the Islanders identity.
2) What do you know? Max is also a champion, which ties into the mold that Garth has drafted. Like so many other prospects, Domi has the intangible of a winner by having the “know how” to win. He finished this season as an OHL Champion, and made it to the Memorial Cup semifinals. Last season, Domi and the Knights lost in the Memorial Cup Final.
Max Domi’s work ethic and top-level skill-set gives Domi the fighting chance of becoming a first-line talent in the NHL, which makes him as dangerous of a prospect as any, because all Domi needs is a fighting chance. He may have to round out his game if he wants to be used in all situations at the NHL level, but there’ s no denying Domi’s nose for the net.
At the NHL Draft, Garth Snow will draft the best player available. If Max Domi is on the board, I fully expect that player to be him.