Toronto Maple Leafs: Never Trade William Nylander

The Toronto Maple Leafs have three elite-level young forwards.  According to some members of the media, this is just too many, and William Nylander has to go.

I heard someone on my radio this afternoon mention  that we can look forward to a summer of William Nylander for a defenseman rumors.

I hope not because was really hoping we could talk about something more fun. Trading Nylander would be among the stupidest things in Leafs history, and that is saying a lot. It would be a dumb, impatient move not even worthy of Brian Burke or Dave Nonis.

William Nylander has a ton of potential and he’s cost controlled.  He’s a pick who’s already made it.  Watch him play for five minutes and he’ll do something with the puck that makes you bring up, yet again, how impossible it seems that a guy who can do that is the third most buzzed about rookie on the same team.

It’s a rare year that the NHL as a league has three rookies as good as Matthews, Nylander and Marner.   I don’t remember off the top of my head any team that had three rookies this good at the same time.

It’s like the Braves having Maddox, Smoltz and Glavine.

Also, they’re cost controlled for three years.

If the Toronto Maple Leafs want to win during the ELC Years, they are going to have to buy a free-agent defensman or get lucky and have one of their own guys turn into a star. Trading Nylander will only make them worse.  You can’t replace what he can do.

Forget about Matthews and Marner for a second.  How many forwards have the Leafs developed in the last thirty years who are on par with Nyalnder?  Wendel Clark.  Vincent Damphouse. Who else?

William Nylander is Untouchable

The Blackhawks and Kings didn’t make crazy trades for their blueline – they got lucky when they randomly got Keith and Muzzin –  without having to pick them with top ten picks.  Subban, Weber, Chara. The NHL ranks of elite defenseman are filled with guys who weren’t top ten picks.

No one is going to trade an elite defenseman on purpose.  You  have to draft one in the top ten.  Failing that, you have to have a random late pick or trade throw-in suddenly morph into the unexpected.

In a league where Taylor Hall gets your Adam Larsson, what do people actually think Nylander will fetch?  I don’t necessarily think signing Shattenkirk is the best move. But overpaying him is smarter than trading Nylander because it’s far less risky.

The people pushing the Nylander trade narrative are ignoring the incredible stock-pile of assets the Toronto Maple Leafs have assembled over the last several years.

The Leafs shouldn’t trade for a dman who is already a star, The efficient thing to do would be to c play the odds by acquiring two or three young players with high ceilings.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have the recently signed Jeremy Bracco.  They have Kerby Rychel, Brandon Leipsic, Kasperi Kapanen, Dmytro Timashov, and Seth Griffin.  In addition to NHLers Josh Leivo, Connor Brown, Nikita Soshnikov.

The Leafs have van Riemsdyk, Tyler Bozak, Leo Komarov, and all their future first round picks.

That gives the Leafs a lot of capital and a lot of options to make moves. Additionally, they have a ton of cap space.

Their current top-four is made up of four players 26 and younger, and only one them is currently in his prime.  All of them can be on this team when the Leafs are Cup Contenders. Therefore their blueline isn’t even close to as bad as it’s made out to be.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have no reason to ever trade William Nylander.