The NHL season has only been over for a week, but the first offseason trade has officially taken place. On Friday evening, the Arizona Coyotes acquired Alex Galchenyuk from the Montreal Canadiens for Max Domi. According to Sportsnet, Domi is expected to sign an extension with the Canadiens in the coming days.
The trade provides a much needed change of scenery for two talented young players.
The Canadiens have acquired forward Max Domi from the Arizona Coyotes tonight, in return for Alex Galchenyuk. #GoHabsGo
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) June 16, 2018
The 23-year-old Domi had nine goals and 36 assists for Arizona while the 24-year-old Galchenyuk tallied 19 goals and 32 assists.
“Domi had a rough year last year,” Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman said of the trade. “Down to nine goals. I think we all believe he’s a better player than that. I think he struggled last year in Arizona a great deal. The trade rumors started coming out before the deadline. I think it was pretty common knowlege around the league that Arizona was looking to give him a change of scenery. I think Pittsburgh was another team checking around.
“As for Galchenyuk, it seems like he’s been in trade rumors non-stop since the second year of his career,” Friedman added.
I think, if you ask people around Montreal, they’ll tell you that’s a guy that they wouldn’t be surprised if he did something very nice outside of Montreal in a change of scenery somewhere a lot quieter – which Arizona will be.”
Galchenyuk has been involved in trade rumors for over a year. A natural center, Galchenyuk has played on the wing throughout the majority of his tenure with the Canadiens, despite the team’s struggles up the middle. Domi may be given a shot at center, but the trade also could signal, according to Friedman, that the Canadiens are bullish on selecting Finnish pivot Jesperi Kotkaniemi with the third overall pick.
The addition of Galchenyuk to the Coyotes has the potential to have a huge upside for the up-and-coming team. The Coyotes struggled mightily in the beginning of the 2017-18 season, but found their footing during the final quarter of the season, going 11-7-2 in their last 20 games. With the Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s eight-year extension and the remaining two years on Galchenyuk’s contract, the team could have a solid core heading into the future.
With the NHL Draft is only a week away on June 22, more trades could be on the horizon.
More from the Canadiens:
MONTREAL – General manager Marc Bergevin announced on Friday night that the Canadiens have acquired forward Max Domi from the Arizona Coyotes in return for forward Alex Galchenyuk.
A three-year NHL veteran, Domi had played 222 games with Arizona since debuting with the club in 2015-16, amassing 36 goals and 135 points along the way.
Last season, the 23-year-old Winnipeg native ranked third on the Coyotes with 45 points (9g – 36a) in 82 games. He registered a career-high 52 points (18g – 34a) during his rookie year.
Internationally, Domi won gold at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship. He also claimed a gold medal at the 2016 IIHF World Hockey Championship as well.
The two-time OHL champion, who has averaged 0.61 points per game over the course of his NHL career, was a first-round pick of the Coyotes, 12th overall in 2013.
For his part, Galchenyuk had spent his entire six-year NHL career to date with the Canadiens, amassing 108 goals and 255 points in 418 games.
The 24-year-old Milwaukee, WI native was the third-overall selection of the Canadiens back in 2012.
Headline photos: Minas Panagiotakis and Debora Robinson
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