Matthews Will Win Third Rocket Richard after new contract

Auston Matthews Will Win Third Rocket Richard After New Contract

At the top of everyone's mind in the NHL was what would happen with Auston Matthews at the end of the 23-24 season. The former first-overall pick from 2016 was staring down unrestricted free agency with his current deal set to expire at the end of the year.

Would he go home and join the Arizona Coyotes? Or would he stay in Toronto?

That question was answered on Wednesday when the Toronto Maple Leafs center signed a four-year extension to stay put in T-dot. Matthews signed a four-year extension worth $53 million ($13.25 million AAV) on Wednesday.

We can stop asking for Matthews' next team odds (for now). We'll surely revisit this discussion in 2027 when a 29-year-old Auston is facing free agency yet again.

Auston Matthews NHL Awards Odds

But for now, let's look at Matthews's odds to win more hardware. Because with the weight of contract negotiations lifted off his shoulders, we might be seeing a much lighter AM34 for the Leafs. 

Matthews 23-24 Awards Odds
AwardOddsPosition On Board
Rocket Richard+5502

Odds as of August 24

Auston Matthews Rocket Richard Odds

He's second on the board for the league's top scorer award. An award he's already won twice. He won his first in 20-21 with 41 goals in 52 games and then he won it again in 21-22 with 60 goals in 73 games.

Since he entered the league in 2016-17, no player has more goals than Matthews at 299. 

Toronto brought in more offensive talent this offseason with Tyler Bertuzzi, Max Domi and John Klingberg. The buds could be a goal-scoring machine this year. A goal-scoring machine with Matthews in the driver's seat.

His only competition is Connor McDavid. I don't think McDavid converts at 20 percentage points above his previous career high for goals per game again. This should be Matthews's award.

Auston Matthews Hart Trophy Odds

While I think McDavid will slow down in the goal-scoring department that doesn't mean he'll totally slow down. The Edmonton Oilers phenom dunked on the league with 153 points in 82 games. We haven't seen that type of offense since Mario Lemieux was in the league.

I think Matthews will win the scoring title, but league MVP? I don't think so.

Auston Matthews Selke Trophy Odds

With Patrice Bergeron gone this award is wide open. The Bruins legend won the best-defensive forward trophy six times and was the runner-up four times. 

Matthews is a long shot to the Selke in 23-24 per the odds board.

His face numbers at 53.8% over the last three years are respectable but rank him 19th for centers with at least 199 games played. His 5on5 Corsi numbers are also respectable at 55.93% (12th for centers with 2,000+ minutes played since 20-21). But Patrice Bergeron was first in both faceoff win percentage and 5on5 corsi. Matthews would need to take his defensive game to the next level to win this award.  

I still think he should be a long shot to win, but at +3000 his odds are longer than they should be. He's closer to Selke consideration than people think.