Auston Matthews, Maple Leafs Agree to 5-Year, $58 Million Contract Extension
The deal is for five years with an average annual salary of $11.63 million. Per Sean Leahy of Pro Hockey Talk, the contract is worth $58.17 million in total.
Three years after being selected No. 1 overall in the 2016 NHL draft, Matthews has lived up to his potential. He ranks second on the Maple Leafs with 23 goals and fourth with 46 points in 38 games this season.
The 21-year-old forward missed 20 games due to injury last season, but he still managed to register 34 goals and 29 assists for 63 points in 62 games. Matthews also skated to an impressive plus-25 rating.
As a rookie in 2016-17, Matthews potted 40 goals to go along with 29 assists for 69 points, while appearing in all 82 regular-season games. That was good enough to earn him the Calder Memorial Trophy as the NHL's top rookie.
Matthews has led the Leafs to the playoffs in each of his first two seasons, but they have been unable to get over the hump with consecutive first-round eliminations. Their 67 points so far in 2018-19 rank second in the Eastern Conference.
With Tavares joining an already-strong forward group that includes Matthews, Mitchell Marner, William Nylander and Nazem Kadri, the Maple Leafs have all the makings of a Stanley Cup contender heading into the stretch run this season.
Since Matthews is seemingly on the verge of becoming a perennial MVP candidate, signing him to a long-term deal is a move that will likely keep the Leafs in the championship mix for many years to come.
The addition of Tavares coupled with the re-signing of Matthews gives Toronto a strong combination of experience and youth up front for a long time.
As long as Matthews continues to produce at his current clip, though, the Maple Leafs will be among the NHL's most explosive and talented clubs.