Max Domi ''blessed'' to play alongside Auston Matthews in Toronto

Mike Armenti
April 1, 2024  (9:52)

Auston Matthews celebrates a big goal against the team he grew up watching in Arizona
Photo credit: Mark J. Rebilas / USA Today Sports

After Auston Matthews scored his 60th goal of the season on Saturday, Max Domi took to social media, stating that he was "blessed" to have the opportunity to play next to Matthews in Toronto.

After playing just 72 games this season, Matthews has managed to score an incredible 60 goals, and with 9 games remaining for the Toronto Maple Leafs, 70 goals is still within reach for one of the best players in the world, and Domi very much in awe of his teammate.
From a fan's perspective, if you look back over the last 30 seasons, it's easy to see why Matthews is so special. Simply put, nobody puts the puck in the net like he does. We are constantly in awe of what he's able to do. Sometimes, it's easy to forget that his teammates are just as impressed by his unparalleled goal scoring prowess as the rest of us.
Max Domi has known Auston Matthews since before he was ever drafted 1st overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs back in 2016. Their connection goes back to before the 2015-16 season, when Domi was still a rookie with the Arizona Coyotes, who had drafted him 12th overall back in 2013. That's why it was only fitting to see Domi celebrate Matthews' 60th goal very publicly, via his personal Instagram account. He's known Matthews the longest of anyone in Toronto, aside from Shane Doan, who is also under the Leafs' employ in the front office.
This weekend, Domi had this to say about Matthews scoring 60:
"60 for 34. Blessed to watch you do your thing day in and day out brother. Congratulations Papi!

Would go to war with this guy any day. LFG!"

With his 60th of the season against Buffalo on Saturday night, Matthews has now produced an astonishing 359 goals through his first 533 career NHL games, putting him 20 up on Alex Ovechkin (339) in that same number of games. The only player with more than both? You guessed it. Wayne Gretzky, who had 481 goals through his first 533 games.
It might also shock you to learn that Matthews has out-scored everyone in the league since the start of the 2010-11 season. Shocking, when you consider he wasn't drafted until 2016. We are witnessing something truly incredible right now. No member of the Toronto Maple Leafs in 107 years has scored like Matthews has. Even the team's all-time leading goal scorer and points leader, Mats Sundin, didn't score like Matthews does. In fact, if he stays healthy over the course of his 4-year, $53M contract extension, which kicks in at the start of next season, Matthews is on pace to become the both team's all-time points leader and goal scoring leader.
Matthews is pacing at a career 1.195 points per game through 533 games. He is 448 games away from Sundin's 981 career games. If he remains in Toronto and plays out those 448 games, producing at a 1.195 points per game clip, Matthews will produce 535 points. When you add that to his existing 637 career points, it would total 1,172 points, which would not only make him the most productive Leaf of all time, it would shatter Sundin's record of 987 career points as a Leaf. Even if Matthews doesn't return to Toronto following the expiration of his next contract in 2028, again, assuming he stays healthy, he'll still have 328 games over his 4-year extension to break Sundin's record - and if he produces at his same 1.195 points per game, over that 328-game span, that will equate to 392 points, which, when added to his existing point total, amounts to 1,029 points, a full 42 points ahead of Sundin's 987 as a Leaf.
As for Sundin's franchise record 420 goals, well, Matthews, at 359 goals, is on pace to pass that total in roughly a season and a half with the way he's putting the puck in the net. None of this is lost on Max Domi, whose dad, Tie Domi, played with Sundin in Toronto when Max was just a kid. Max and Mats had a special bond when he was growing up and the two still maintain their friendship today.
We know all about Matthews' history with the Arizona Coyotes franchise, with the Arizona product attending skates with the team as a teenager, years ahead of being draft eligible. Matthews was a huge fan of Coyotes captain Shane Doan growing up, and was also a big Daniel Briere fan from his days with the Coyotes as well. As Matthews was coming up through the U.S. National Under-17 Team in the USNTDP, it didn't take long for people in the hockey sphere to realize he was going to be very special. As such, he was afforded special opportunities, like skating with the Coyotes on a number of occasions. Max Domi recalls those memories fondly, often joking about how Matthews, even at 15, was better than any of the Arizona Coyotes out on the ice during informal skates and summer training.
When Domi was signed by the Leafs this past summer to a 1-year, $3M deal, he and Matthews were quick to rekindle their friendship. Now, the two are very close and even sit side-by-side on the team's plane when they travel for road games. Auston Matthews and Max Domi: The bromance we never knew we needed in Toronto.
1 AVRIL   |   273 ANSWERS
Max Domi ''blessed'' to play alongside Auston Matthews in Toronto

Will Auston Matthews break Mats Sundin's franchise records for goals (420) and points (987) as a Leaf?

Yes, he'll break both records25292.3 %
Goals, but not points186.6 %
Points, but not goals10.4 %
He won't break either Leafs record20.7 %
Latest 10 stories