It appears that the asset carousel will continue to spin for the Columbus Blue Jackets as the NHL trade deadline looms. Max Domi who is slated to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season, doesn’t appear to be a part of the organization’s future.
His two-year extension back in 2020 amounted to a prove-it deal, and the Blue Jackets were likely hoping that the former 12-overall selection would be able to cash in on his pedigree in Ohio. For a variety of reasons, that hasn’t materialized, and he’s now playing bottom-six minutes for the club.
Talking heads and pundits seem to be reading the writing on the wall here, and the belief is that Domi is available via trade. TSN.com recently updated their trade big board, and the Blue Jackets forward is ranked as the eighth-best player who could be acquired by a contender.
That noticeably places him ahead of names like Phil Kessel, J.T. Miller and Andrew Copp.
Domi will be an attractive option for playoff-bound clubs for a few reasons. When he’s healthy and engaged, he plays a hard, postseason-style game. He’s not afraid to go to the dirty areas to make things happen and is the kind of forward who can be a battery for his team.
No one is going to get him confused with wings who can drive their own unit, but with the right linemates, Domi could be a real boon for any acquiring team. His cap hit is also manageable, especially if Columbus agrees to eat half of the $5.3 million hit to accommodate a trade.
In fact, the Blue Jackets should actively hope that they are asked to take on some of that money. It’ll increase Domi’s trade value even further, allowing Columbus to perhaps add on another middish round draft pick to their asking price.
Domi has shown flashes of skill throughout his NHL career but has never been able to consistently put the pieces together. It’s not like he’s played for the best of teams since entering the league in 2015-16 as a 20-year-old, however.
He played top-six minutes for the Montreal Canadiens in 2018-19 and notched 72 points in 82 games, and Domi is young enough that a team will likely believe that they can tap into that player, if only for a short while during the playoffs.
Where could he possibly land, though? Let’s take a look at a few possibilities. Feel free to sound off in the comments down below and let us know what you think the Blue Jackets should ask for if they trade Domi, and where he could end up.