Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews, possibly in line for a $100 million contract in his future, said Friday that center Connor McDavid was worthy of the one he got from the Edmonton Oilers.
"It's very well-deserved," Matthews told Sportsnet. "Last year he was the best player in the League. He took home all the trophies, individually."
McDavid, the No. 1 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, won the NHL scoring title and Hart Trophy (MVP) last season and followed that with an eight-year, $100 million contract that begins after this season.
Matthews, the No. 1 pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, will be eligible to sign his own contract extension on July 1. The 19-year-old scored 40 goals last season, won the Calder Trophy (rookie of the year) and helped the Maple Leafs make the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2013. They lost to the Washington Capitals in six games in the Eastern Conference First Round.
"Everyone wants to take a step forward, myself personally, the team," he said. "We obviously had a decent season last year, but we haven't really accomplished anything."
McDavid last season also became the youngest captain in NHL history, at 19 years, 266 days, when he was named Oct. 5. Matthews, considered to likely be Maple Leafs captain at some point, turns 20 on Sept. 17.
"It's not really my decision," he said of being named captain. "If it's brought upon me, obviously that would be a big honor. If not, I'm not going to change my personality or how I am at the rink.
"I'm still going to work hard and be myself every day. Whether I have a letter or not, it doesn't make a difference."