Word out of Ohio was that the Columbus Blue Jackets were looking to upgrade at center and they did that on Tuesday when they acquired Max Domi from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for forward Josh Anderson and the 78th overall pick in the NHL Draft on Wednesday.
Domi, 25, recorded 17 goals, 44 points, a -3 rating, a 52.12% Corsi-for percentage, and a 52.94% expected goals-for percentage in 71 regular-season games in 2019-20 before adding three assists and a -2 rating in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
In 375 career NHL games with the Canadiens and Arizona Coyotes, Domi has recorded 81 goals, 251 points, and a +4 rating. His best season came in 2018-19, his first season in Montreal, when he set career-highs in goals (28), assists (44), points (72), and plus-minus (+20) in 82 games.
Domi played mostly on the wing with the Coyotes but center on the Canadiens. He can become a restricted free agent on Friday.
With the addition, the Blue Jackets finally find their center which they have been searching for since they traded Ryan Johansen to the Nashville Predators in exchange for defenseman Seth Jones on January 6, 2016. The Blue Jackets’ average of 2.57 goals-per-game was tied with the San Jose Sharks for 27th in the NHL this past season while their 16.4% power-play percentage was also 27th. Domi recorded 11 power-play points for the Canadiens last season.
Anderson missed most of last season due to multiple injuries but the 26-year-old finished it with just one goal, four points, a -8 rating, a 49.42% Corsi-for percentage, and a 54.97% expected goals-for percentage in 26 games.
In 267 career games, all with the Blue Jackets, Anderson posted 65 goals, 115 points, and a +27 rating. The best season of his career came in 2018-19 where he recorded 27 goals, 47 points, and a +25 rating, setting career-highs in all categories.
Anderson can also become a restricted free agent on Friday.
Rumors have swirled for a while that the Canadiens have been interested in Anderson after they averaged 2.93 goals-per-game during the regular season (19th) and were 22nd with a 17.7% power-play efficiency. Anderson averaged 1:44 on the power-play, ninth on the Blue Jackets, but did not record any points on the man advantage.
Both teams tendered qualifying offers to both restricted free agents they dealt. The Blue Jackets have $7,025,000 remaining in cap space while the Canadiens have $10,868,691.
By Harrison Brown