"You talk about (Nick) Suzuki, (Jesperi) Kotkaniemi, two young centers that the organization really wants them to succeed," Julien told reporters Thursday. "When we started training camp, obviously Max wasn't there for the first week, so we put our group together, we started, and all of a sudden we see both those guys, especially Kotkaniemi, really doing well."
Domi, who has Type 1 diabetes and celiac disease, took an extra week to decide whether or not it would be safe for him to join the club at training camp in July. Once play restarted in August, he saw a dramatic decrease in ice time and played primarily on the fourth line.
The 25-year-old said after the trade that he had become unsure of his role with the club and didn't know where he stood with Julien.
"It's not so much that it didn't work out (with Domi in Montreal)," Julien said. "Sometimes this is what hockey's all about - you end up with a situation where now Max became I guess a little bit expendable, because we had those guys do so well, and at the same time, we're able to get a big player that we really needed on the wing in Josh Anderson in exchange for him."
Domi saw a drop in production last season with 17 goals and 44 points through 71 games before the season hit pause. He posted a career-best campaign in 2018-19.
The 5-foot-10 pivot signed a two-year, $10.6-million contract with the Blue Jackets one day after being traded.