Max Domi agrees to 4-year deal with Maple Leafs, avoids free agency: Source

By Chris Johnston, Joshua Kloke and Lauren Merola

Max Domi and the Maple Leafs have agreed to a four-year deal carrying a $3.75 million average annual value, a league source said. The agreement keeps Domi from exploring the market in free agency, which opens Monday at noon.

Domi is coming off one of his most electric seasons in the NHL. He found much success in five-on-five play last season, in which he ranked among the league leaders in assists. His five-on-five TOI (12:06) was one of his lowest totals of his career, yet his 2.23 assists per 60 minutes in five-on-five play was the highest total of his career. That number was also the second highest in the NHL, behind Connor McDavid.

Domi’s 2.73 total points per 60 minutes in five-on-five play was the second-highest total of his career, too.

Domi also had a career-high on-ice shooting percentage of nearly 12 percent, which ranked seventh of any NHL forward who logged at least 900 minutes.

Domi was a first-round draft pick by the Arizona Coyotes in 2013. He played three seasons there before two seasons each with the Montreal Canadiens and Columbus Blue Jackets. He then played stints with the Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks and Dallas Stars before landing with the Leafs.

In 661 career games, Domi logged 130 goals and 287 assists. His 38 assists last season were the second highest mark of his career.

Why Domi is staying put

Domi returning to Toronto after his one season with the Leafs always felt likely for several reasons.

Domi thoroughly enjoyed his first season as a Leaf, which felt like a natural fit considering Domi’s father Tie’s legend status in Toronto. Max Domi is no shrinking violet, and when the temperature rose in Toronto and media attention ramped up, Domi was never afraid to stand in front of the cameras and defend his and his team’s play. Not every NHL player has the makeup to thrive in Toronto, or cities where the NHL team is equally as prominent, but Domi’s outgoing personality allowed him to welcome the spotlight.

On the ice, Domi had one of his most productive seasons of his nine-year career. Why wouldn’t he want to try and continue that momentum and production in Toronto?

Of course, it’s fair to wonder if the numbers he put up last season are unsustainable. But when you consider the lack of secondary scoring options the Leafs have under contract for next season (Matthew Knies? Maybe Calle Jarnkrok?) it feels like Toronto wanted as much stability as it could get in free agency.

After one and two-year deals throughout his entire career, Domi undoubtedly sought the kind of long-term security that has evaded him throughout his career. There is some risk awarding any player outside of the realm of superstars a four-year deal in the latter half of a player’s career.

Time will tell if Domi can remain as productive as he turns 30 next season and then remains under contract until he is 33. But if he can maintain somewhere near the level of playmaking and production he put up in 2023-24, the Leafs will be happy they inked the deal. — Joshua Kloke, Leafs staff writer

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(Photo: Claus Andersen / Getty Images)

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