Photo Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Nylander looking for long-term deal with the Leafs

As the one remaining contract needed to be signed for next season, all the attention is on William Nylander and what his first post-ELC contract will look like.

As reported by Luke Fox of Sportsnet, Nylander is looking for a long-term deal, not just a bridge deal.

Looking around at similar contracts and similar players, the David Pastrnak and Nikolaj Ehlers contracts come to mind when a long-term deal is mentioned. Both were signed immediately after their Entry-Level Contract expired, and both are in the similar range of skillset as Nylander.

Just last offseason, Pastrnak signed a 6 year, $40-million dollar contract for a $6.66m AAV on the Bruins’ cap. Similarly, Ehlers signed a 7 year, $42-million dollar contract for a $6.0m AAV on the Jets’ cap – it did take until October 7th last year for the Jets and Ehlers to reach an agreement, so let’s hope it’s a shorter negotiation for Nylander’s new deal.

Other than just comparing a couple contracts, Matt Cane has brilliantly summarized what each free agent’s new contract will look like. Taking in past examples of contracts from similarly-talented players, Cane’s predictions can be seen here.

For Nylander, Cane predicts the most-likely contract is a 5-year deal, coming in just a hair over $7-million on the cap hit. If both the team and Nylander’s camp prefer a longer term, Cane’s model has both the 6-year and 7-year contracts coming in around $6.95-million per year and the 8-year option at $7.5-million. Clearly, there is a range that is predictable for Nylander’s new deal.

Since it looks like the Leafs might be very, very, very good for a long, long, long time, the smartest thing for the team is to lock-up one of their most talented players for as long as they can. Giving Nylander security like that might just bring the cap hit down and get rid of the ridiculous notion that the Leafs will be unable to fit all of their good players under the cap.

No matter what, Nylander will be worth the contract that they will realistically agree upon.


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  • Hugh Allan

    Nylander wants a long term deal, Leafs want to give him a long term deal and Leaf fans want him to have a long term deal.
    Seems like a match made in heaven.
    Now can everyone agree to the cap hit that deal should cost?
    7 – 8 years at approximately $7 million a year I would be so bold as to suggest.
    Get it done Kyle.

  • mst

    If Parayko is available and the Blues are willing, Nylander should be traded for him. Nylander can easily be replaced by players already in the system.

    Nylander’s numbers are inflated by playing with Matthew’s. When not on a line with either Matthews or Marner, Nylanders numbers are not very good.

    Hyman also plays with Matthews but he doesn’t get any PP time. So if you ignore PP points Nylander had 49 last year while Hyman had 40! When Brown played with Matthews and Hyman, Brown outscored Hyman. In the AHL all of Johnson, Brown Kapanen and Leivo outscored Hyman. If you assume that any of those 4 will score more than Hyman while playing with Matthews then trading away Nylander will only cost about 4 or 5 man pts per even strength season. All Parayko would have to do is get 5 more points per even strength year compared to Hainsey and your back up to Nylander numbers and you’ve vastly improved your defense.

    7 million on Nylander versus 5.5 for Parayko is an easy call for me.

    • FlareKnight

      Thank God you aren’t the GM then.

      When the heck has Nylander even been on a line with Marner? How effective has Marner been when not on a line with a 30 goal scorer like Kadri, a guy that will end up in the Hall of Fame like Marleau, and strong offensive players like JVR?

      Also props for negating Nylander’s PP points (which is silly since points are points) and yet not removing Hyman’s shorthanded points. Though I guess 49 to 38 doesn’t look nearly as (OMG shocking!)

      Nylander is part of the core and sticking around. If you don’t think he’s very good then don’t expect him to be worth anything in a trade either.

    • Bob Canuck


      With regards to your opinion that Brown is a viable replacement for Nylander on the Matthews line, CJ Turtoro’s passing data below does not support that claim. Nylander is far superior to Brown and Hyman when it comes to shot assists (the pass that precedes a shot), shot contribution (shot assists plus shots), entering the offensive zone with possession, and exiting the defensive zone with possession. Also, although I like Johnsson and Kapanen, I don’t think there is enough NHL-based evidence to claim that they are suitable replacements for Nylander at this stage of their respective careers.

      Percentile rankings per A3Z Two-Season Comparison Tool, for the 2017-2018 regular season at 5v5.

      Shot Assists per 60

      Nylander – 82; Marner – 73; Hyman – 13; and Brown – 50

      Shot Contributions Per 60

      Nylander – 86; Marner – 85; Hyman – 14; and Brown – 43

      Possession Entry Per 60

      Nylander – 92; Marner – 93; Hyman – 38; and Brown – 14

      Possession Exit Per 60

      Nylander – 86; Marner – 85; Hyman – 26; and Brown – 26

      With respect to your statement that Nylander’s numbers are not very good without Matthews or Marner, the data contradicts that view. I looked up the data for Nylander and Marner when away from the other and any of the Leafs top 3 centers.

      Per Natural Stat Trick at 5v5 for the 2017-2018 regular season

      Nylander had 189.58 minutes without any time with Matthews, Marner, Kadri or Bozak

      SCF/60 – 31.27; HDCF/60 – 13.26
      Marner had 120.15 minutes without any time with Matthews, Nylander, Kadri or Bozak

      SCF/60 – 21.95; HDCF/60 – 8.48