Auston Matthews signs 5-year extension with Maple Leafs

Auston Matthews signs a 5-year extension

Auston Matthews signs a 5-year extension

The Toronto Maple Leafs locked up star centre Auston Matthews on Tuesday, signing the 21-year-old to a five-year contract extension with an average annual value of $11.634 million US.

With William Nylander having signed a new six-year deal in December worth $41.77 million, that leaves stylish winger Mitch Marner on Leafs GM Kyle Dubas's to-do list. "We went from everything from three (years) to eight, and we kind of settled on five and I think both sides are obviously happy". Matthews is fourth in points with 46, and second in goals with 23 behind Tavares.

Matthews, who has 97 goals and 81 assists in 182 National Hockey League games, won the Calder Trophy as the NHL's best rookie for the 2016-17 campaign and helped Toronto reach the Stanley Cup Playoffs in each of his first two seasons. He has only played 38 of Toronto's 52 regular-season games due to injury. Nylander is locked up until 2024 at a cap hit slightly north of $6.9-million per season, while fellow forwards Nazem Kadri, Zach Hyman, defemcemen Morgan Rielly and Nikita Zaitsev, plus goaltender Frederik Andersen are now the only Maple Leafs signed through at least 2020-21.

According to SportsNet's Chris Johnston, the vast majority of Matthews' contract will be paid in signing bonuses - 93 percent, to be precise.

The deal is made up for by front-loading almost $15 million in signing bonuses, and Matthews' actual salary will be more in the neighborhood of $700,000.

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Matthews' five-year deal, which kicks in next season, has an AAV of US$11.634-million, for a total value of US$58.17-million. Reportedly nearly $71 million of his Toronto deal is in the form of signing bonuses.

The average annual value of the contract for the three-time NHL All-Star is $11.634 million.

Matthews was named the NHL's Rookie of the Year and named to the NHL's All-Rookie Team for 2016-2017.

This much is clear: Whichever route Matthews and Marner choose to take, their decisions will have important implications for the future success of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Defenseman Jake Gardiner can become an unrestricted free agent after the season.

Toronto hosts the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday.

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