In light of the most recent trade I would like to take a closer look at Max Domi and Alex Galchenyuk, where they have been- and most importantly- where they are going.
To begin, a look at what the players have been able to put onto the scoreboard for every 60 minutes on the ice.
Ok, so let us begin with how the last 3 seasons have gone for these young men.
15/16: P/60: 2.35 G/60: 0.81 A/60: 1.54
16/17: P/60: 2.28 G/60: 0.54 A/60: 1.74
17/18: P/60: 1.97 G/60: 0.39 A/60: 1.58
15/16: P/60: 2.52 G/60: 1.35 A/60: 1.17
16/17: P/60: 2.72 G/60: 1.05 A/60: 1.67
17/18: P/60: 2.30 G/60: 0.86 A/60: 1.44
First, goals. I would like to discuss two factors beyond just numbers so we can better gauge where the goal scoring of these players is going. These being shots and shooting percentages.
Let us begin with Max Domi. He was never hailed as a goal scorer, even in junior where the 39 goals scored in his draft year on a stacked Knights team was as high as he'd ever get. Despite taking steps back in D+1 and D+2 with the Knights, Domi still burst onto the NHL scene with an impressive Rookie Campaign potting 18 goals.
Unfortunately this impressive start regressed much as it did in Junior. With 9 goals in his Sophomore year followed by 9 goals this past season- when you consider that 4 of last year’s 9 goals were into an Empty Net that 3 year regression turns from 18-9-9 to a wide eyed 17-9-5. So why did the goals disappear?
Max Domi averaged 1.95 shots/Game in his first year, followed by 1.83 shots/Game and then 1.83 shots/Game in the subsequent seasons. That is to say that he eased of his shot numbers after year one, but not by a notable percentage. This shows a drop in S% every season in the league, falling from a respectable 11.5% in year one, to 8.3% in year two, to 6.0% in year 3.
So what can be expected?
If Domi can right the ship and bump his shooting % up to his average of 8.6% and bump his career high shot volume up to 175 Max could feasibly hit 20G. I would consider increasing shot volume and reversing the obvious negative trend over three seasons to be a generous treatment in line with the hope that a change of scenery will do a lot for the player.
So, how does the goals situation look for Galchenyuk?
No one would argue that Domi compares to the goal producing acumen of the American. While the goal scoring skills only became Elite after his drafting due to the injured season of his draft year, Galchenyuk quickly showed what he could do with a puck potting 27 goals in 33 games in the OHL during the NHL’s lockout. This earned him his spot on the Canadiens roster when the lockout ended where he impressed with 9 goals in 48 games. This is slightly below Domi’s rookie pace, but at 3 years younger than Domi accomplished his feat- with 4 minutes less of play time per game compared to the older player.
Over the next three seasons, Galchenyuk improved his goal output at a steady pace, culminating in his 30 goal campaign in 2015-2016. He then dipped to 17 goals in a heavily injured season where he never looked quite healthy after injuring then re-injuring his knee. This past season also disappointed with only 19 goals.
But how does Galchenyuk’s shot totals and shooting percentage compare, and do they tell a similar story of regression over the past three seasons?
12/13: Shots/G: 1.65
13/14: Shots/G: 1.69
14/15: Shots/G: 2.04
15/16: Shots/G: 2.45
16/17: Shots/G: 1.70***
17/18: Shots/G: 2.60
When marking the injured season, something becomes very clear, Galchenyuk has put more pucks on net per game every single year. Domi has not managed to improve this area of his game so far, but Alex has shown a steady and impressive improvement which should very well continue into his Prime years. On average he improves his shots/Game by 0.24 every season. If this trend continues it is a safe bet to apply approximately 2.84 shots/Game this coming season for the young forward if healthy.
As for shooting percentage, Galchenyuk improved every year up until this year past where it dipped significantly from his highest of 16.3% during his injured 16/17 campaign to only 8.9% this following disaster of a season. In fact until this season where other goal scorers such as Paccioretty and Lehkonen struggled Galchenyuk improved his shooting percentage every season.
Galchenyuk’s lowest shooting percentage prior to this past season was in his rookie campaign where he matched Domi’s 11.5% with an 11.4% of his own. He then increased this to 11.8%-12.3%-14.9%-16.3% over the next four seasons.
So what can be expected? For one, a regression to the mean of his shooting percentage. Even with this past season included Galchenyuk averages a shooting percentage of 12.6%. Ignoring last season’s outlier would give an average of 13.3%.
Considering the shots/Game expectancy of 2.84 shots/Game we can predict about 232 shots over 82 games. In predicting next year for Galchenyuk I believe there are three ‘fair’ possibilities for his shooting percentages, so view expected goal possibilities below.
Career Avg Shooting %: 12.6% = 29G
Career Avg Shooting % without 17/18: 13.3% = 31G
Return to Career Best Shooting %: 16.3% = 38G
In short, it does not seem unreasonable at all to see Galchenyuk return to at or around 30G.
Now, let us move on to Domi’s strength. Lauded as a strong playmaker, Domi has buffered his point totals with assists where goals have been lacking.
Over the last three seasons Domi has averaged 33 Assists, with his highest last season in 36 and his lowest in a 59 game injured season of 29. He also backs up this theory with the percentage of assists that are primary- 66% of his 99 NHL Assists are primary. 35-40 Assists is not outrageous to predict for Domi.
Over the last three seasons Galchenyuk has averaged 28 Assists a season, also with an injured season in the middle, just like Domi. Domi’s strength showing in primary assists is backed up however, as only 56.5% were primary.
But who were they passing to?
Last season Galchenyuk played most commonly (31.2%) with Jacob De La Rose and Artturi Lehkonen. One a snakebitten sophomore whose shooting percentage dropped from 11.4% to 7.3% and perennial ‘I cannot score goals’ defensive center. Next most common was with the aforementioned Lehkonen and Drouin at 24.1%. Followed by Drouin+Deslauriers for another 16.3%.
That is to say that for 71.6% percent of his time on the ice at even strength with a total of 30 even strength goals worth of linemates. The best of those goal scorers was Deslauriers at even strength. Yes, Nicolas Deslauriers was the best goal scorer to play with Galchenyuk for any small percentage of time.
Last season Max Domi played most commonly (16.1%) with Clayton Keller and Derek Stepan, followed by (11.6%) with Christian Dvorak and Christian Fischer, followed by (8.4%) Keller/Fischer and (8.3%) Duclair/Dvorak.
Keller stunned with 23G/65Pts as a rookie. Consistent sophomore Dvorak put up 15 goals for the second year in a row. Stepan managed 9 EV Goals this season and Christian Fischer and Duclair put up 10 and 6 (while with Coyotes) EV Goals respectively.
In short, despite what some pundits have claimed, Domi spent last season with much better goal scoring linemates than Galchenyuk. While most would agree Domi is the better playmaker, better linemates for EV play have definitely contributed to this narrative and the gap is much likely lower than believed.
While there is much more to visit, the last note I would like to touch upon is the way the season ended for these two players. A common thread for some Devil’s advocates has been that Domi has turned a leaf near the end of the season, so let us examine the tail end of the season.
Domi put up a very respectable 5G-15A-20P over the final 25 Games of the Season.
Galchenyuk put up a respectable 7G-11A-18P over the same final 25 Games of the Season.
You decide if those 25 games are so much better for Domi that they outweigh everything else- I know for our Team’s sake I will be hoping it does!
Thanks for reading guys, I know it’s not insanely organized, but it was too big for a forum post!