Toronto Maple Leafs: William Nylander Roundtable

William Nylander has signed a new contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Earlier this evening, multiple sources broke that Nylander had signed a 6-year/6.9 million dollar salary cap hit deal with the Maple Leafs. Per, Nylander’s cap hit for this season will be 10.2 million USD. His contract is pro-rated since he signed mid-season and he also has a 2 million dollar signing bonus.

With Nylander’s contract finally signed, several Puck77 contributors wanted to do a Roundtable post to share their thoughts on the signing.

Cody Rusan

My thoughts on the Nylander deal? Well, to put them simply, stressful. Though worth the stress considering the offensive abilities we all know he possesses. The Toronto Maple Leafs just went from fun to exciting. This team without Nylander has shown that they have little issue with finding some twine. Throw Nylander in the mix and it will most likely get even easier for them.

Initially, my first thoughts were fixed around the Leafs potentially trading him for a solid defenseman. We all know the Leafs have no issue scoring most nights, but they do struggle with protecting Frederik Andersen quite a bit. Though that is seemingly a generational issue with the Maple Leafs as they have struggled a ton on the blue-line on a year to year basis. That issue can always be fixed with the correct prospect or free agent, so no need to go trading away a set of first-line hands.

Welcome back, Nylander!

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Gordon Witt

I feel a sense of relief, but this whole situation feels like “broccoli” to me in that I know it’s good for me, but it leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. In the same way, I know the team will be better with William Nylander, but this whole situation has been such a long, drawn-out process that it has really drained me. All the players in that room have busted their guts to help the team achieve an 18-8 record, and now someone is going to lose their job on the team and take a huge cut in pay playing in the AHL. The enduring question I have is what impact this will have in the Leafs’ dressing room? Oh, and now that he’s signed with the team, I expect we will be besieged with horrible Nylander trade proposals from the MSM for the next six years…

Nikos Michals 

If the Toronto Maple Leafs had traded him for a defensemen, I would’ve been happy. Yet, when we signed him I was happy. Nylander is a fantastic young talent that will no doubt continue to grow under Babcock and the Leafs. Nylander’s deal is roughly about the same cap percentage that Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane signed for when they won their 3 cups in Chicago. Not saying that he is as good as those guys at the same age, but he’s a piece that makes the Leafs a lot closer to a Stanley Cup.

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James Reeve

The saga is finally over. The Leafs keep Nylander at a very reasonable price too. $10.2 million this year offset by 6.9 million for the next five. Matthews and Marner should now follow closely behind and Kyle Dubas should keep the team’s main offensive core together for years to come.

Brian Schwartz

I hate the old adage “getting a healthy [player] is the equivalent to making a deal at the deadline”. Having said that, with Nylander coming back I would be hard pressed to find a better forward to add mid season. The Toronto Maple Leafs can now turn to bolster their defense and solidify a great rest of the season and playoff run.

Angelo Kontogonis

Nylander didn’t get what he asked for but at the end of the day, he wanted to play. Last thing he wanted was to sit out an entire season.

Tyler Kuehl

If you look at the contract, it’s not bad at all. If you look at the fact the Dubas and Brendan Shanahan didn’t give into William Nylander and Lewis Gross’ demand, it looks even better. The best part is now the team can move forward and focus on what this team is capable of doing on the ice. However, the Toronto Maple Leafs are don’t quite yet. Now, the attention shifts to Marner’s and Matthews’ negotiations.

Josh Tessler

The Toronto Maple Leafs were able to keep Nylander. The Maple Leafs are much better off with Nylander in the lineup than without him. Last season, Nylander averaged a scoring rate of 0.63 Goals/60 and 1.74 Total Assists/60. With his scoring ability and his chemistry with Auston Matthews, the Maple Leafs can be the next dynasty. 

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I honestly wasn’t sure that Kyle Dubas and the Maple Leafs front office were going to able to persuade Nylander to take a smaller deal. There was a lot of speculation that Nylander was asking for 8 million dollars per season, which would have been a massive over-payment. Leafs fans are now rejoicing as Dubas was able to ink Nylander to a cap friendly deal that will allow the Toronto Maple Leafs to go back out next summer and retain Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner. Yet, I wouldn’t wait that long. It took way too long to sign Nylander. Now, is the ideal time for Dubas to sign Marner and Matthews. Marner is having a career season and if he keeps at this pace, he could be due for a fat pay-check. In terms of Matthews, you’d have to figure he’ll get a similar deal to John Tavares, who was signed by Dubas on July 1st.

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