TORONTO (AP) — 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.
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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.
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