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Arizona Coyotes trade Max Domi for Montreal’s Alex Galchenyuk

Montreal Canadiens left wing Alex Galchenyuk (27) plays against the Detroit Red Wings in the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

The Arizona Coyotes swapped former first-round picks on Friday in a one-for-one trade that sent forward Max Domi to the Montreal Canadiens for forward Alex Galchenyuk.

Domi was set to become a restricted free agent on July 1 following a season in which he set career-lows in points-per-game with 9-36-45 in 82 contests, as well as shooting percentage at 6 percent.

“We recognize that we’re giving up a very good young player that didn’t have his best season but we know has got the better play ahead of him,” Coyotes general manager John Chayka said.

“I think last year … just never really got on track, as a team, we struggled early. I think he struggled as well and then the season started to snowball on him a bit. I think some of that was taking the weight of the team on him and carrying a lot. I think as the season wore on he got better and better and certainly showed us what he can do down the stretch.”

Domi scored 18 goals with 34 assists in his rookie season, finishing sixth in Calder Trophy voting. He was drafted two years prior, 12th overall. He has three years of NHL experience.

“You have to give to get in this league, and Max is very talented young player in his own right,” Chayka said. “But hopefully it’s one of those things where the fit works on both sides and it works for everybody.”

Meanwhile, Galchenyuk is a 24-year-old former third overall pick who has six seasons of NHL experience. He was a 30-goal scorer in the 2015-16 season with Montreal, totaling 56 points with nine goals on the man advantage. The Wisconsin native has scored at least 17 goals in each of the past four seasons.

Furthermore, he can play center, a position where Arizona already has Derek Stepan, Christian Dvorak, Dylan Strome and Marcus Kruger (for whom the Coyotes traded Jordan Martinook earlier this offseason) on its projected NHL roster.

“We were looking for a guy that can score some goals for us,” Chayka said. “We were looking for someone to add some versatility, has some experience playing up the middle, has potential to play up the middle and give us some depth at that position. I think Alex obviously checks all of those boxes.

“When you start going through the league and you look at players that have produced at the level he has at the age he has at the price point, we looked at all these different things and quite frankly, there’s very few of these guys.”

Galchenyuk carries a $4.9M cap hit and is signed through the next two seasons, according to CapFriendly. He is set to be a unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2020. Domi signed a two-year extension worth $3.15 million AAV with the Canadiens on Saturday morning.

Informally, both players had been rumored to be potential trade pieces this offseason.

“You have to give to get in this league, and Max is very talented young player in his own right. But hopefully it’s one of those things where the fit works on both sides and it works for everybody.”

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