While the Edmonton Oilers lock up Connor McDavid and the Buffalo Sabres prepare an extension for Jack Eichel, the Toronto Maple Leafs have their own young phenom to start worrying about. Auston Matthews will be eligible for an extension on July 1st 2018, and James Mirtle of The Athletic was on TSN Radio this morning to discuss the general parameters.
Mirtle disagreed with the idea that players are upset at McDavid for taking less than the maximum, but did admit that it will set a sort of ceiling on any contract coming out of an entry-level deal. He suspects Matthews will earn around $11MM per season on his eventual deal. While the Maple Leafs are currently playing games with long-term injured reserve just to stay under the cap, they’ll have plenty of room by 2019 when Matthews (and Mitch Marner) are due for huge raises. The team has just six active skaters signed for that year, and could easily have some prospects still working through their ELC to help balance the check book.
- Grant McCagg of Recrutes.ca released his latest “Grant’s Slant” piece today, discussing the emerging draft stock of Adam Boqvist and how he could challenge Rasmus Dahlin as the top option out of Sweden next year. Boqvist played extremely well at the Ivan Hlinka tournament and McCagg points at recent examples—Oliver Kylington and Timothy Liljegren in particular—of Swedish defenders falling rapidly in their draft year. It doesn’t look like Dahlin will give up his spot at the top of most draft boards next spring, but it would be silly to sleep on Boqvist who will be a top prospect in his own right.
- Rick Dhaliwal of News 1130 in Vancouver has been all over the Alex Kerfoot situation, and now reports that the NCAA free agent will visit the Canucks today. That will be his first visit, but it won’t be his only one as “several teams” have been in contact with his camp. The former Harvard captain did not sign with the New Jersey Devils before the deadline, and has been linked to his hometown Canucks for some time. The undersized forward has a nice skill set but like many other college free agents could have limited upside in the long-term.