TORONTO – Auston Matthews, one of the NHL’s great young talents, signed a five-year contract extension with the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday at an annual average of $11.6 million.
The 21-year-old center was making the maximum $925,000 a year under his three-year rookie deal. He was eligible to become a restricted free agent July 1.
Matthews, a former No. 1 overall draft pick and a rookie of the year, is in his third season with Toronto. He has 97 goals and 81 assists in 182 regular-season games. This season he has 23 goals and 23 assists, but he has played in only 38 of Toronto’s 52 games because of injury.
The NHL rookie of the year from Scottsdale, Arizona, has represented Toronto at the NHL All-Star Game in each of his three seasons.
The precise average annual payout is $11.634 million – the 34 at the end appearing to be a nod to his jersey number. The bulk of the money reportedly is in signing bonuses. He will make just $750,000 in salary each of the five years while getting bonuses of $15.2 million, $15.2 million, 9.7 million, 7.2 million and $7.2 million.
His extension comes after 22-year-old Maple Leafs forward William Nylander signed a six-year deal in December worth $10.2 million this season and $6.9 million the following seasons.
Subscribe to the sports newsletter
Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.