Toronto Maple Leafs superstar Auston Matthews signed a four-year, $53 million extension that makes him the league's highest-paid player.
Matthews won the Hart Trophy as the league's most valuable player in 2021/22 when he led the league with 60 goals.
His production dropped recently, as he went from 106 points in his Hart-winning campaign to 85 points this past season.
Matthews finished third on the Leafs in points in 2022/23, behind Mitch Marner and William Nylander. Those three plus captain John Tavares each finished the season with more than 80 points.
Still, having been the first-overall pick in the 2016 draft, Matthews' talent has never been in question.
The Maple Leafs are chasing their first Stanley Cup in over four decades. They lost to the Florida Panthers in the second round of last season's playoffs.
Their top four players in points are all signed through the coming season, but Nylander's deal expires in 2024 and both Tavares' and Marner's contracts end the following year.
The 2023/24 season could be the Maple Leafs' best chance to win the Cup for the foreseeable future, but having Matthews signed through 2028 gives them a bona fide star to build around.