Two now-former Arizona Coyotes players stick in the memory of Coyotes fans. It all started in the 2015 World Junior Championship. A line of Max Domi, Sam Reinhart, and Anthony Duclair were magical together. Canada won the gold defeating Russia thanks to a spectacular showing by Domi and Duclair.
Domi collected one goal and two assists, while Duclair added an assist on Domi’s goal. The two players, at the time, had no idea they would be playing in the desert together. To recreate the uncanny chemistry they had started in the WJC in 2015 was well… uncanny.
How Domi And Duclair Became Teammates in The NHL
Duclair was added to the Coyotes’ organization in a trade, which shocked the Pointe-Claire, Quebec, native at the time. The former third-round selection of the New York Rangers was included in the same deal that saw defenceman Keith Yandle head east.
When Duclair was dealt to the Coyotes in March of 2015, Domi was one of the first people he called. The two were only separated when it comes to living arrangements in Arizona. Since Duclair is allergic to Domi’s dog, Duclair was forced to move out and find his own living arrangements for the season. The Domi dog, Orion is not just a pet but a service dog. Domi suffers from Type 1 diabetes and Orion notifies him when his blood sugar is out of whack. The specially trained dog has allowed him to continue his dream of playing in the NHL.
Domi was the Coyotes’ first-round selection, 12th overall, at the 2013 NHL draft. After parts of four seasons with the OHL’s London Knights, the son of former Maple Leafs enforcer Tie Domi went on to play 222 games in Arizona. He tallied 36 goals, 99 assists and became a fan favourite.
The Pair Became an Instant Success
In their first season together on the Coyotes, Domi collected 18 goals, 34 assists and Duclair had 20 goals, 24 assists. There were numerous games where they would assist on each other’s tallies. Before long the “Killer Ds”— a nickname coined by former NHLer and current Coyotes broadcaster Tyson Nash— Max Domi and Anthony Duclair were turning heads and front and centre in the thick of the rookie-scoring race.
It seemed they were destined for great things. There were plays where they demonstrated the uncanny instinct to know where each other was at any given moment – and get the puck towards or in the net.
The Two Former Arizona Coyotes Players Parted Ways
Duclair was the first to be traded away from the Coyotes. He went to the Chicago Blackhawks along with Adam Clendening for Laurent Dauphin and Richard Panik. “Duke” was then signed as a free agent by the Columbus Blue Jackets in July of 2018. The following February Duclair was moving once again in a trade to the Ottawa Senators. He finally landed in the sunshine state signing as a free agent with the Florida Panthers.
He signed a three-year deal worth $9 million and it was well deserved. Duclair has had two great seasons there with 22 goals, 31 assists in just 66 games. He ranks fifth in scoring on the 2021-22 Panthers with 12 goals, nine assists in 23 games. It’s easy to say Duclair has found his home… finally.
Max Domi Moves on as Well
Domi’s attraction to Arizona wore thin quickly. His scoring touch evaporated as he only had nine goals, 36 assists in 82 games. It was time for Max to move on, and he was traded to the Montreal Canadiens for Alex Galchenyuk. Domi produced exceptionally well in Montreal. In his first season there he had 28 goals, 44 assists in 82 games. His next season was disappointing with only 17 goals, 27 assists in 71 games.
The Canadiens didn’t re-sign Domi, and he was traded to Columbus for a third-round pick and forward Josh Anderson. Columbus gave him a two-year $10.6 million deal. At the close of the current season, Domi will become an unrestricted free agent. Could he be headed to his fourth NHL team near the trade deadline? He will need to play for a couple more teams to catch up to Duclair’s six.
So, Duclair after some soul searching seems to be set in Florida. Meanwhile, Domi’s future is really unknown. He has missed 10 games due to injuries after missing just two games last season. His rich contract may not make it easy for the Blue Jackets to trade him. He apparently is on the trade block once again.
Two former Arizona Coyotes players, once teammates, on dynamically different paths in their NHL careers. Still, it is awesome to reminisce about their days with the Coyotes. Some of their plays will stick with you for years to come.
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