Leafs sign top scorer Marner to six-year extension

Los Angeles (AFP) –


Mitch Marner, who won a silver medal with Canada at the 2017 World Championships, agreed to a six-year $65 million contract extension with the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday.

Free agent Marner ended weeks of difficult negotiations with the Leafs, who lost in the first round of the NHL playoffs to Boston last year.

"I am exactly where I want to be, in front of the greatest hockey fans in the world, proudly continuing the tradition with the @mapleleafs. See you soon," Marner wrote on his Twitter account.

Marner was one of the bright spots for Toronto, becoming the first Leaf to score more than 90 points in a season since Mats Sundin 22 years ago. Marner finished with a career high 26 goals and 94 points last year.

The 22-year-old Marner is now the third highest paid player on the team behind John Tavares and Auston Matthews.

He has collected 67 goals and 224 points over 241 NHL regular-season games during his three-year career,

Marner was picked up by the Maple Leafs in the first round -- fourth overall -- of the 2015 entry draft.

He was one of the top scorers for Canada at the 2017 World Championship, finishing with 12 points in 10 games.

The Maple Leafs, an original six team, have the current longest active Stanley Cup championship drought at 51 seasons and counting -- a period that includes the league's entire expansion era which began in 1967.