Leafs' top prospect Matthew Knies signs NHL contract: report
The Toronto Maple Leafs have officially signed top NCAA prospect Matthew Knies, according to multiple reports on Sunday.
TSN’s Darren Dreger was among those reporting the news of Knies’ contract.
Matthew Knies has signed his contract with the @MapleLeafs. Toronto will register the contract today.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) April 9, 2023
“Matthew Knies has signed his contract with the Maple Leafs,” Dreger tweeted Sunday. “Toronto will register the contract today.”
A 6’3 winger out of Phoenix, Arizona who the Leafs originally drafted in the second round of the 2021 NHL draft, Knies has established a resume as one of the top prospects outside of the NHL and arguably the Leafs’ best player 21 years of age or younger.
He was named the 2022-23 Big Ten Conference Player of the Year and an All-Big Ten First Team honouree after leading the nation with seven game-winning goals — including three in overtime.
While the particulars of his deal have yet to be reported, it’s likely he’ll be signing a three-year entry-level deal as per standard.
The news comes less than 24 hours after Knies’ final collegiate game, a 3-2 loss for his Minnesota side in the NCAA national championship game against Quinnipiac University. Knies was held scoreless in the defeat.
In 40 games this season with the University of Minnesota, Knies put up 21 goals and 21 assists for a total of 42 points. He was named among the three finalists for the Hobey Baker Award this season, given to the top player in NCAA men’s hockey each season.
The Maple Leafs close out the regular season on a three-game road trip with games against the Florida Panthers on Monday, April 10, the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday, April 11, and their regular-season closer against the New York Rangers on Thursday, April 13.
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