The Toronto Maple Leafs have re-signed Zach Hyman to a four year contract with an AAV of $2.25 million, totaling $9 million.
— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) July 5, 2017
It was reported earlier today that the Leafs were close to re-signing Hyman when he did not file for arbitration, which many assumed meant that he was close to a new deal.
Hyman is coming off his rookie season where he scored 10 goals and 28 points, including four shorthanded goals, a rookie record. However, it’s well noted about his lack of production outside of playing with Auston Matthews, who Babcock glued him to in the 2016-17 season. Of Hyman’s 24 5v5 points, only 1 was scored with Matthews off the ice.
Personally, I don’t hate the deal. It’s relatively cheap for a young player, and it has some term to it, so you’ll keep him cheap for several years. It’s a bit of a gamble, because you’re hoping that his 6.4% shooting percentage was an outlier, and you’re hoping that he can produce away from Matthews, especially if they plan on putting Patrick Marleau with Matthews, but other than that, the Leafs locked up a solid young player for several years.
My only issue is that this sets the bar for Connor Brown. If a 10 goal scorer gets $2.25, then what does a 20 goal scorer who has a similar style of play?
It wouldn’t surprise me if Brown ends up getting traded in a deal for a defenseman. The team has a logjam of wingers, and one of them is probably going to go. The team has shown their commitment to Hyman, so things don’t look too good for Breeze.
Of course, that’s just random speculating. Brown might get a similar deal, return to the team next year, and continue to play well, and everything I just said in that last paragraph might be meaningless.
All in all, it’s a solid deal for Hyman. He’s not exactly a core piece that the team needs to lock up, but it’s a deal that even if it ends up being bad, it won’t kill the team (except they’re starting to do this frequently enough that it’s become death by a thousand cuts).