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Maple Leafs’ Auston Matthews becomes NHL’s highest paid player with four-year, $53 million contract extension

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Star center Auston Matthews will stay with the Toronto Maple Leafs for the foreseeable future. On Wednesday, Matthews signed a four-year, $53 million contract extension with the Maple Leafs, according to an announcement from the team.

The average annual value of the deal is $13.25 million, which makes Matthews the highest paid NHL player annually. Matthews has one year remaining on his current five-year, $58.2 million contract that he signed back in 2019.

“I feel fortunate to continue this journey as a Maple Leaf in front of the best fans in hockey!” Matthews wrote on social media. “I will do everything I can to help get us to the top of the mountain. GLG! #LeafsForever.”

Matthews, 25, tallied 85 points (40 goals and 45 assists) in 74 games during the 2022-23 regular season. The Maple Leafs star added 11 points (five goals & six assists) in 11 postseason games a season ago.

Matthews was selected by the Maple Leafs with the No. 1 pick in the 2016 NHL Draft. In his seven NHL seasons, the star forward has racked up 542 points (299 goals and 243 assists) in 481 career regular season contests. He’s also recorded 22 goals and 22 assists in 50 games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

In terms of the franchise’s all-time leaders, the Maple Leafs center currently is tied for fifth in goals (299) and tied for second in overtime goals (nine). Matthews also ranks fourth in game-winning goals, fifth in power-play goals (76) and 11th in points (542).

Matthews’ best season came in 2021-22, when he won the Hart Trophy as the league’s MVP. During that campaign, Matthews tallied 106 points (60 goals and 46 assists), and became the first player in franchise history to achieve a 60-goal season.

The four-time All-Star also won the Ted Lindsay Award in 2021-22 as the most outstanding regular season player. Matthews also took home the Rocket Richard Trophy in back-to-back campaigns (2020-21 and 2021-22) as the NHL’s leading goal scorer.

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