The Toronto Maple Leafs now have their best player under contract through 2027-28.
The Leafs announced that they signed star center Auston Matthews on Wednesday to a four-year, $53 million extension that pays $13.25 annually.
The contract will kick-in during the 2024-25 season. Matthews has one year remaining on his five-year, $58.195 deal that he signed on February 5, 2019.
FOUR MORE FOR THIRTY FOUR ⚪️🔵 pic.twitter.com/yL94Hf8Jag
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) August 23, 2023
The 25-year-old superstar is two seasons removed from scoring a career-high 60 goals and 106 points during the 2021-22 campaign. Last season, Matthews notched 85 points in 74 games, tallying 40 or more goals for the fourth straight season and the fifth time overall in his seven-year career.
Matthews has won the league’s MVP award (Hart Trophy) once and is one of only four players who have managed to win the Rocket Richard Trophy (most goals in a season) over Alex Ovechkin since 2013.
Auston Matthews, signed to a 4x$13.3M extension by TOR, is an elite scoring centre who creates chances and goals at an unparalleled level at 5v5 while being effective in other areas of the game. His strength and smarts in puck battles gives him defensive upside too. #LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/9Cgp3yWK3u
— JFresh (@JFreshHockey) August 23, 2023
The contract makes Matthews’ the game’s highest-paid player. Per Spotrac, the 13.25 AAV jumps Matthews from the fourth highest-paid player to the first, leapfrogging Nathan MacKinnon ($12.6M AAV), Connor McDavid ($12.5M AAV), and Artemi Panarin ($11.64M AAV).
Auston Matthews becomes the new highest paid player in hockey — and is still underpaid.
The term may be light, but the AAV is a massive win for the Leafs. pic.twitter.com/rbM7v13OWk
— dom 📈 (@domluszczyszyn) August 23, 2023
Matthews is well-over a point-per-game player in his career, registering 542 points (299g, 243a) through 481 career regular season games. He’s also consistently produced in the playoffs despite the Leafs’ struggles there, recording 44 points (22g, 22a) through 50 career playoff games.
Auston Matthews signs a $53M, 4 year contract per @frank_seravalli
— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) August 23, 2023
Incredibly, Matthews is already tied for fifth in Leafs’ franchise history in goals (299) and fifth overall in power play goals (76). He also has the 11th most points (542).
The Leafs’ alternate captain has also been the cover athlete for EA Sports’ NHL games in 2020 and 2022..
Headline photo: @austonmatthews/IG
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