The Toronto Maple Leafs have become one of the top contenders in the Eastern Conference. Despite suffering first-round defeats in recent years, the team boasts a talented core. While the band has been kept together, the clock is ticking on their run. William Nylander becomes a free agent in two years, but so does another star. A new Auston Matthews contract is due in two years. The superstar centre is the spotlight player for the Leafs. Keeping him in the fold is necessary for the team’s success going forward.
What Auston Matthews Contract Looks Like
It may be early, but in two years, Auston Matthews will need a new contract. While already being the best player on the Leafs, he is beginning to cement himself as a Maple Leaf great. He is the face of the franchise and will be the most sought-out player if he hits the open market. Keeping him in Toronto is a no-brainer decision, as one management has made known public. General Manager Kyle Dubas has said, “We’re fortunate to have one of the best players in hockey under contract for two more years. He’s a great player we would like to see play his whole career with Toronto.”
Dubas wants to keep Matthews in Toronto for the long haul, but what does that look like?
Welcome to the 60 goal scorer club, Auston Matthews. pic.twitter.com/Ct23JTp3P4
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) April 27, 2022
Matthews won’t be a pending UFA until 2024, but that doesn’t mean a deal can’t get done before then. He has established himself as an elite goal scorer in this league. His finishing ability is off the charts and his lethal shot makes him dangerous when he has the puck. Matthews has hit the 40-goal mark three times in his career. This past season he did something extraordinary, scoring 60 goals and a career-best 106 points. He is the first to score 60 goals since Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos did it in 2011-12. Matthews has been a point-per-game player over the course of his career scoring 457 points in 407 games. The sky is still the limit for Matthews, who will only be getting better.
The Next Deal
Matthews has established himself as one of the best players in hockey. Looking ahead at a new deal, what could that look like? Currently the forward makes $11.64 million, according to Cap Friendly. It is the third-highest AAV going into the 2022-23 season. But if Matthews continues playing at the rate he currently is, he can name his price entering free agency. Based on his level of play he is due a significant raise from what he already is making. When it is all said and done, Matthews could become the highest-paid player in the league. Come 2024, Toronto will have the cap to give Matthews the bag.
“I love the city, my teammates, management, the whole staff from the top to bottom…I don’t think there’s anything like playing in this city.”
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) February 6, 2019