Top Players to Follow in Arizona Coyotes Training Camp

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1. Max Domi

Sep 27, 2013; Glendale, AZ, USA; Phoenix Coyotes center Max Domi (15) dives for the puck as San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton (19) defends during the third period at Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Max Domi. I can’t stress enough how important September is going to be for the 19-year-old forward. He’s coming off a 93-point season in the OHL, but doesn’t have any experience with the big guys yet.

He’s going to have to give it his all, though- because if he doesn’t crack the Coyotes’ roster this upcoming season, it’s back to the OHL for him. Players are ineligible to compete in the AHL until they’ve either played for three seasons in the major juniors, or will turn twenty during the calendar year of the season’s start. With his twentieth birthday not coming around until spring, Domi has two options- go big, or go home.

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When he was drafted, the legacy forward was criticized for his selfishness on the ice. Scouts were unanimous in their agreement that Domi was talented, but also agreed that he wouldn’t reach his full potential until he learned to play as a teammate rather than a superstar. He also has trouble keeping his head during a tense game, taking retaliatory penalties that could be costly for Arizona.

His omission from last year’s World Juniors Canadian National Team seems to have woken the center-turned-winger up, though. At the World Juniors development camp this summer, he seemed more receptive to coaching direction, and handled the previous season’s snub the way an adult would, rather than a hot-headed teenager. Should this be the Max Domi out on the ice during training camp and preseason, it’s likely that the third line wing is his for the taking.

Of course, Domi will need more than just a positive attitude to earn a permanent spot in the locker room in Glendale. Training camp for Domi should be about learning to work together with his future teammates. He needs to have a good sense for how to play the game at the NHL level before the season starts in order to gain the favor of Head Coach Dave Tippett- not known for looking fondly upon playing the young guys, Tippett would have no problem with giving the Toronto native an extra year to develop before offering him a spot on the team.