Leafs Ink Shawn Matthias to 1-Year Deal

The Toronto Maple Leafs continue to stock up on analytics-friendly players on short-term deals, as they announced on Monday the signing of Shawn Matthias to a one-year deal.

The deal is reported to be worth $2.3 million, which is a nice pay raise from last year’s $1.85 million AAV.

It’s another in a string of short-term deals for Toronto, who are positioning themselves for their rebuild by grabbing analytics-friendly players on short-term deals that allow the team to decide if the player make sense as a part of the rebuilding process or if they should be shipped out for picks at the trade deadline.

As THN’s Matt Larkin said, you could read this as “Leafs sign a second-round draft pick in 2016.”

Matthias had a career year, putting up highs in goals with 18 and points with 27. 18 goals had him ranked third on the Vancouver Canucks. Matthias may not have the well-rounded game of a top line player, but his scoring pace in recent seasons has been remarkable and largely unnoticed. He has twice in the last three seasons been at a 1.0 P/60 at even strength or higher.

His possession numbers haven’t been as impressive. He posted a -3.7% score-adjusted CF%Rel last season and has had a negative relative possession in each of the last four seasons.

Toronto may be in for a difficult season, but it’s an alluring place for free agents as they may get some good ice time and, on a one-year contract, they’ll have the chance to have a lot of visibility, as Chris Johnston notes while quoting Maple Leafs assistant GM Kyle Dubas.

RELATED: For Leafs to Get Rebuild Right, Get JVR & Bernier Out of Sight

[catlist categorypage=”yes” numberposts=3 excludeposts=this]

Sign up for The Hockey Writers’ Toronto Maple Leafs newsletter.