Maple Leafs sign Auston Matthews to entry level contract

Maple Leafs sign Auston Matthews to entry level contract

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The TorontoMapleLeafs have locked up their coveted first overall draft pick AustonMatthews for at least three seasons.

Courtesy SB Nation

Matthews, who the MapleLeafs hope will soon be their first franchise center since Mats Sundin, had to wait longer than the other top 2016 draft picks to sign his contract.

The second through fourth picks -- Patrik Laine (Jets), Pierre-Luc Dobois (Blue Jackets), and Jesse Puljujarvi (Oilers) -- had already been signed to a contract a week after the draft.

Matthews' contract took the longest.

Why?

Some argue Leafs GeneralManager LouLamiorello isn't a fan of entry-level contract bonuses. Perhaps he wanted to make sure the terms of the contract were reasonable for both Matthews and the franchise.

After weeks of negotiation, the Maple Leafs signed Matthews to an average entry-level salary of $925,000 plus potential bonuses that could add up to an average annual salary of $3,775,000, the team announced on Thursday.

Never in his career had Lamiorello given a player he drafted maximum bonuses, and that's mainly because the majority of his career came before the salarycap era. Even though negotiating entry-level bonuses is something new for Lamiorello, he admitted Matthews deserves the maximum.

105He was picked No. 1 overall. He deserves the maximum that could be givenToronto Star on Friday.

Every draft pick of the salary cap era -- starting with SidneyCrosby in 2005 -- have received maximum bonuses.

The 18-year-old will certainly be a part of the Maple Leafs roster next season, but will he meet the expectations his contract bonuses depend on?

The terms of his bonuses are as follows:

158A Bonuses159$212,500 for each category, up to a maximum of $850,000 or four of the categories.

- Be named to end-of-season all-rookie team

- Play in the all-star game

- Be named the all-star game MVP

- Be top six on team average for ice time (minimum 42 games played)

- Be top three on team for plus-minus (minimum 42 games played)

- Achieve 0.73 points per game (minimum 42 games played)

- Score 20 goals

- Register 35 assists

- Total 60 points

Courtesy SB Nation

263B bonuses264A bonuses265He receives a $2 million payout if he hits any of the categories.

- Be named a first-team or second-team all-star

- Win the Conn Smythe Trophy

- Be top five in voting for the Hart, Rocket Richard or Selke trophies

- Be in the top 10 for goals, assists or points

- Be in the top 10 for points per game (minimum 42 games played)

314B bonuses315Connor McDavid could have hit all five B categories should he had been healthy all season.

The sky is the limit for Auston Matthews in Toronto.

For the first time in over a decade, the Maple Leafs have a foundation with the potential for winning - led by an 18-year-old.

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