Auston Matthews has one year left on his five-year, $58.17 million contract, but the Toronto Maple Leafs star center expressed interest Monday in signing an extension before the 2023-24 season.
Coming off his fourth consecutive season with at least 40 goals, Matthews, 25, will be eligible to sign an extension on July 1, when he officially enters the final season of the contract he signed in 2019.
“My intention is to be here,” Matthews said Monday. “I think I’ve reciprocated that before how much I enjoy playing here, what it means to me, the organization, my teammates and how much I just enjoy being here. … I really do enjoy playing here and it’s a true honor.”
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, Matthews is a two-time Maurice Richard winner. He also won 2016-17 Calder Trophy and the 2021-22 Hart Trophy.
Matthews finished this past season with 85 points (40 goals, 45 assists) in 74 games and has amassed 542 points (299 goals, 243 assists) in 481 games in seven NHL seasons, all with Toronto.
Matthews said Monday that an injury affected his shooting ability but wouldn’t specify. He posted 11 points (five goals, six assists) in 11 playoff games as the Leafs won their first postseason series since 2004 by eliminating the Tampa Bay Lightning in six games.
However, Matthews was limited to two assists and didn’t put up a point in the last three games of the Leafs’ semifinal series loss to the Florida Panthers.
Teammate William Nylander, who is set to enter the final year of his six-year, $45 million contract, would also like to stay in Toronto.
“I love it here. I don’t want to be anywhere else,” Nylander said.
Nylander, 27, had the best season of his career, posting 87 points (40 goals, 47 assists) in 82 games. He totaled 10 points (four goals, six assists) in 11 playoff games. In eight seasons with the Leafs, Nylander has 430 points (177 goals, 253 assists) in 521 career games.
Captain John Tavares and star forward Mitch Marner, who are both signed for two more seasons, also want to remain part of Toronto’s core.
–Field Level Media
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