Maple Leafs officially sign top prospect Matthew Knies to three-year ELC
Photo credit:Steven Ellis/The Leafs Nation
By Mike Gould7 months ago
The Toronto Maple Leafs have officially signed prospect Matthew Knies to a three-year, entry-level contract, the club announced Sunday afternoon.
The news came shortly after multiple National Hockey League insiders reported that the Maple Leafs were on the verge of signing Knies, their top pick (No. 57 overall) from the 2021 NHL Draft.
Knies, 20, recorded 21 goals and 42 points in 40 games as a sophomore with the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers during the 2022–23 collegiate season.
“In two seasons playing for Coach Motzko and his program at the University of Minnesota, Matthew has participated in two Big Ten championship games, Two NCAA Frozen Four Championships, two World Junior Championship tournaments and one Winter Olympic Games,” Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas said. “The impact of that experience in addition to the massive steps the program at University of Minnesota has helped him take on and off the ice are something that we are forever grateful for.
“We look forward to welcoming Matthew to our Club this week and helping him continue down the great development path he has been on with the Gophers,” Dubas added.
Knies’ entry-level contract with the Maple Leafs will take effect immediately, rendering him ineligible to play in the American Hockey League for the rest of the season. The deal extends through 2025 and carries a $925,000 NHL cap hit.
During his sophomore (and final) season, Knies helped the Gophers reach the 2023 NCAA Division I National Championship final against the Quinnipiac Bobcats, which took place at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla. on Saturday.
Knies did not record a point in the game, which saw the Gophers blow a 2–1 lead late in the third period before losing 3–2 in overtime. The Phoenix, Ariz. product did not score a goal in his final six games with the Gophers.
With Knies now in the fold, the Maple Leafs will return to action on Monday to take on the Florida Panthers. They’ll square off against the Tampa Bay Lightning the following day.
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