Over the last few years the Toronto Maple leafs have had a plethora of young talent originate from the Ontario Hockey League, specifically the London Knights. Dating back to 2009 the Leafs have seen some great talent coming out of playing in the London organization. From Nazem Kadri, Ryan Rupert, and recently Greg Mckegg, most of these young men have had success with the Knights as they have been perennial Memorial Cup contenders for a few years running now. With the Knights semi-final elimination yesterday night, the Leafs may look to continue that trend going forward.
Max Domi had an excellent season with the Knights, leading the team in scoring and leading them to the Memorial Cup tournament. Ranked at 25th overall in this years NHL Entry Draft, the Leafs could be getting another Knight. This one a little more special than the previous three as he is the son of former Leafs tough guy Tie Domi. Domi is one of the most beloved Leafs to ever play the game because of his fiesty attitude and ability to agitate the opposition. I can even remember him scoring a few goals during his time with the Leafs, which were always celebrated brazingly because of their relative rarity.
Max sees the game in a different way than is father ever could hope to, scoring 39 goals and 48 assists for 87 points in just 64 games this season. At 5'10 and 195 pounds, he is a spitting image of his father but boasts a more robust offensive game. As one of the best skaters in this years draft class, his breakout speed is unmatched by most and can go into those dirty areas if he needs to. He is projected to possibly become a potential first line centre by most scouts assuming he can refine his defensive game. Of his defensive flaws, he can be caught up ice cheating which may create chances for the opposition during play. As a potential #1 he would have to weed that habit out of his game to become successful. Actually it sort of reminds me of another former Knight on the Leafs today in Nazem Kadri. The similarities are there but they are different types of players still. Domi with his stalky frame will alomost certainly be more tough to push off the puck than the aforementioned Kadri.
We will see who the Leafs select in this year's draft, more over, will Domi even be available at 25? My money is on him being gone before the 21st pick, but that will remain to be seen. If I were the Leafs, focus on depth at centre. Something they have lacked for over 15 years, even longer. With the likes of Kadri and Colborne, the additions of McKegg, and a Domi would be invaluable for the future of this franchise.