Auston Matthews’ electric season is now part of hockey history.
Matthews’ second-period goal against the Stars on Thursday was his 55th of the campaign, passing Rick Vaive for the most in a single Maple Leafs season. He followed it up with an overtime game-winner for his 56th — the most for an American-born player in NHL history.
The 24-year-old is accomplishing remarkable things on the five-year, $58.2 million deal he signed in 2019.
- Matthews’ contract ranks 45th in the league by total value.
- But his $11.6 million AAV is the highest on the team and third-highest in the league.
- Fellow former No. 1 overall pick Connor McDavid tops the NHL in AAV ($12.5M) and is third in total value ($100M).
Though his contract lacks the years or total value compared to some of his peers, Matthews is setting himself up for a massive payday in 2024 if he hits the open market at 26.
The question, as always in Toronto, is whether his brilliance will translate into a Stanley Cup run. The Leafs’ elite power play could lead the way — the unit converts an astounding 30.2% of chances, tops in the league.
Thanks to Matthews’ prolific scoring, bookmakers are starting to believe: Toronto is tied with Calgary for the third-best odds (+900) to lift the Cup, trailing Colorado (+350) and Florida (+550).