Toronto Maple Leafs: William Nylander’s Value

TORONTO, ON - APRIL 6: William Nylander
TORONTO, ON - APRIL 6: William Nylander /

The Toronto Maple Leafs have immense talent currently under ELC’s. Nailing down contracts for Nylander, Matthews and Marner will be difficult, some even say impossible, under the salary cap.

The first to come due for a new contract is William Nylander who many suggest will earn $7M-$8M per season. William Nylander’s third and final year of his entry level contract will come due after this season where he will become a RFA and have to sign a new contract.  Most expect the Toronto Maple Leafs and Nylander to come to an agreement over a long term contract of seven or eight years. But there is also this thinking that Nylander will command upwards of $7M-$8M – or more, depending on how this season goes.

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Let’s compare…

  • David Pastrnak, who is the same age as Nylander, scored 12 more goals last season than Nylander, and did it in six less games. He is averaging 28.2 goals per 82 games played and he just signed a 6-year contract worth $6.66M.
  • Nazem Kadri is a center and averages 23 goals per 82 games played and he is under contract for another five years at $4.5M, on an extremely team-friendly deal.
  • Jordan Eberle averages 26.5 goals per 82 games and is under contract for another two more years at $6M.
  • Nikolaj Ehlers just signed a seven year contract for $6M per year and he averages 21 goals per 82 games.
  • Mark Scheifele averages 24.5 goals per 82 games and is under contract for another seven seasons at $6.125M

If William Nylander scores 30 goals this season (eight more goals this season than he did last season) he would be averaging 25.7 goals per game. That is more than Kadri, Ehlers, and Scheifele, but less than Pastrnak, Hall, and Eberle.

Two of the three guys I mentioned that have lower goals/82 games played are centers. A position that commands a greater premium than wingers. Nylander might have to be paid like he’s a centre, since he most likely will be one for the duration of any contract he signs, and when you skip the bridge contract, you’re already essentially paying for future performance.

The market value for William Nylander will start with a “6”.  You have to keep in mind that all those previous contracts were signed in the past, and every year the base price goes up.

Exhibit A is Connor Brown.  Brown took a three year deal worth $2.1M, probably a million dollars under his actual value. That is roughly a 30% discount. Then there are the team friendly deals of Rielly and Kadri. However, none of those guys is a ‘Franchise Player.’  Nylander is.

Next: Matthews Better than Even Leafs Fans Think he Is

William Nylander may not command the numbers that most think he will.  Whether he signs for eight years or less (extremely unlikely) is unknown at this point. All we do know is that it is going to be expensive.  Nylander has the potential to be one of the best players in the NHL and if the Toronto Maple Leafs don’t want to gamble on a bridge-deal, they’re going to have to pay to lock him up.   If Jack Eichel makes $10 million, which he does, then the Toronto Maple Leafs better hope that Nylander doesn’t out-perform him this season, or they’re going to regret not locking him up sooner.

*stats from