Auston Matthews is the highest paid player in the National Hockey League after signing a monster four-year, $53 million contract earlier this offseason — and Toronto Maple Leafs teammate Matthew Knies also thinks he's the best.

“He's not just the best goal-scorer in the NHL, but he plays defense, too,” Knies told ESPN's Greg Wyshynski at the NHLPA Rookie Showcase earlier this week. “He's kind of the best overall player [in the NHL] in my eyes.”

Certainly a bold claim when Connor McDavid exists, but Matthews is undoubtably a top-five talent in the sport.

Matthews and Knies have a long history; the two are both Arizona natives, and Knies' older brother Phil grew up playing alongside the superstar.

Matthews led the NHL in goal scoring in both 2020-21 and 2021-22, and followed it up last season with 40 goals and 45 assists for 85 points in 74 contests. He also won the Hart Trophy and Ted Lindsay Award two years ago after scoring a ridiculous 60 goals and 106 points in just 73 games.

Knies also mentioned his teammate's defensive game; Matthews has received Selke Trophy votes as the league's best defensive forward in all of the last four years, proving his all-around skills as one of the game's premier talents.

The general consensus around the NHL is that Connor McDavid is the game's best player, after he won his third straight Art Ross Trophy at the conclusion of the 2022-23 season. He scored an outrageous 64 goals and 153 points for the Edmonton Oilers, the most points in a season in over thirty years.

Matthew Knies, Auston Matthews and the Toronto Maple Leafs open their 2023-24 campaign on Oct. 11 against the Montreal Canadiens. They'll take on McDavid and the Oilers on Jan. 16.