The Toronto Maple Leafs have agreed to sign forward Auston Matthews to a new eight-year contract that will pay him $11.5 million per season. This makes Matthews the highest paid NHL player in history.
What Does This Mean For Matthews?
Matthews has been one of the biggest stars in the league since he was drafted first overall by the team back in 2016. He scored 30 goals last season and added another 31 assists. His point total was good enough for second place behind Connor McDavid.
Will He Be Able To Play In All 82 Games?
This contract will keep Matthews in Toronto until 2024, when he will turn 28 years old. It also includes a no-trade clause, meaning he won’t be able to play anywhere else without permission from the team.
Will He Have A Role In Team USA's World Cup Qualifying Campaign?
If Matthews does make the roster, he would likely see some minutes as a center on the second line with John Tavares and Mitch Marner. However, he wouldn’t be expected to score goals at the same rate as other top centers.
Can He Still Win An MVP Award?
It’s hard to say whether Matthews will win another MVP award because there are so few players who do. In fact, only four players have won back-to-back MVP awards since the league began awarding them in 1967. Two of those players were Gretzky and Lemieux.
What Are His Career Stats So Far?
Matthews has been one of the top rookies in the NHL since he was drafted first overall by the Maple Leafs in 2016. He has played in just 56 games, but he has scored 24 goals and added 31 assists for 55 points. He also leads all rookie scorers with nine power play goals.