Gulls A-Z Player Profiles: Max ComtoisAug 1, 2019
Max Comtois surprised many when the 19-year-old earned a spot on the opening night roster for the 2018-19 season. In his first game at San Jose Oct. 3, he showed fans that he belonged when he scored his first career goal just 49 seconds into his NHL debut. His goal marked the fastest goal to kick off a career in the NHL since 1989, when Buffalo’s Alexander Mogilny scored 20 seconds into the first period on Oct. 5, 1989 vs. Quebec.
Comtois scored the game-winning goal in the following game at Arizona on Oct. 6 and added an assist at home against Detroit on Oct. 8. With points in three straight games, he is the second rookie in Ducks history to record at least one point in each of his first three career NHL games (2-1=3). Still a very young prospect, Comtois was assigned to the Gulls after posting 2-5=7 points over 10 games with Anaheim.
The impressive start to the young rookie’s professional hockey career continued at the AHL level. In his debut with the Gulls Nov. 11 vs. Colorado, Comtois scored his first goal 2:26 into the first period on San Diego’s first power-play chance of the game. Comtois went scoreless in the following three games with San Diego and was assigned to the Drummondville Voltigeurs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) following his long-term injury conditioning loan to San Diego.
It was with Drummondville that Comtois started to produce at an elite level. The Longueuil, Quebec native picked up 31-17=48 points in 25 QMJHL games, including five hat tricks and 13 multi-point performances. San Diego was entering the Pacific Division Finals to face Bakersfield Condors when Comtois’ season in the QMJHL came to a conclusion.
Following the end of Drummondville’s playoff run, Comtois re-joined the Gulls for Game 1 of the series against Bakersfield. In his Calder Cup Playoffs debut, Comtois became the hero in one of the most memorable games in Gulls and AHL history. After three periods of regulation and three additional 20-minute periods of overtime, Comtois sealed the win at the 124:20 mark of the game, the fifth-longest game in AHL history. The score marked Comtois first career playoff goal and a massive moment in the Pacific Division Finals.
“I think we have a lot of good prospects here and even the veterans that were here. As soon as I got here, they made me feel comfortable,” said Comtois in his exit interview. “They helped me to get in the team right away and get in the playoff mindset. I think the future is bright in Anaheim. We have a good team. It’s amazing how everybody cares about each other and it was just amazing being here. I’m looking forward to keep improving with them, keep growing and hopefully reach the NHL with them.”
The now 20-year-old Comtois remains one of the Anaheim’s premier prospects and could very possibly start the upcoming season with the NHL club just as he did last year.