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Should The Maple Leafs Extend William Nylander?

William Nylander
Should the Maple Leafs extend William Nylander? What will Nylander’s next contract look like? Should Toronto be worried about losing him? (John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports)

Should The Maple Leafs Extend William Nylander?

What are the Toronto Maple Leafs going to do with William Nylander? A few years ago there was talk about whether the Leafs should trade Nylander. Something that Trey was never in favor of. Toronto wisely held onto him and Nylander has established himself as one of the best overall wingers in the NHL. The problem is that Nylander now might be pricing himself out of Toronto.

Should the Leafs sign Nylander to an extension? Can they even afford to do so? What is the price point that Toronto should walk away from negotiations?

In the latest 32 Thoughts podcast (audio link), Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman suggests that a Nylander deal isn’t close. Friedman suggests that Nylander’s AAV could eventually land in the $10 million range. His market could rise even further if he plays more center this year.

The positive is that it sounds like Nylander wants to stay. He doesn’t sound concerned about his contract at all. With that in mind, there really isn’t any reason to panic trade him. The Leafs are still over the cap as we sit here today and need to figure that part out before the start of the season. Still, the talk over trading Nylander should be a non-starter for the Leafs. Right now he provides the most surplus value of any player on the roster.

Nylander, 27, posted 87 points in 82 games last year. He also only plays with Auston Matthews on the power play and has started to carry that second line with John Tavares. Guys that pocket 40 goals a year don’t grow on trees and Nylander is one of the few play driving wingers in the sport. It’s one thing to score goals. It’s another thing that Nylander carries the puck through the blue line and drive the play. The guy is damn good and I have no idea how you replace him. Keep this in mind too, Nylander is currently playing on a deal that pays him an AAV of $6,962,366. It’s one of the best bargains in the league.

Auston Matthews has already been extended. Brad Treliving needs to make Nylander the next man on his agenda list. There are nights when Nylander is the best player on the team. If they lose Nylander, they may as well start over. Pay the guy his money and get this thing figured out. Keep in mind that Nylander could earn significantly more money just by not paying Canadian taxes. Letting him hit the open market would be a big mistake even if he wants to stay. The cap is also expected to spike in a significant way next year. Get this deal done NOW.

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