Toronto Maple Leafs: Calculating the William Nylander Contract

SUNRISE, FL - NOVEMBER 22: William Nylander
SUNRISE, FL - NOVEMBER 22: William Nylander /

William Nylander is going to re-sign with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

I’d be willing to bet 6.6 million dollars (which coincidentally is around what I predict Willy will soon earn in average annual value [AAV]) that William Nylander re-signs with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

6.6 Million dollars, 6 years.

That’s a pay day of 39.6 million in salary, spread out over 6 years.  All for moving pucks across a frozen sheet of water in the direction of a 4’ by 6’ net.

Not too shabby.

Also, this is Toronto, and in case you’re not familiar with this concept, Toronto is a huge hockey market (probably the biggest).  Hence, the amount of money Nylander will earn in advertising revenue and/or sponsorships will probably almost double his on ice salary.

Comparable players

Here’s two players we can compare William Nylander to so that we feel like our predictions about his future salary with the Toronto Maple Leafs has some accuracy:

Dylan Larkin and David Pastrnak.

Dylan Larkin

Cap friendly lists Dylan Larkin as signed for 5 years at 6.1 million AAV.  In 242 Career NHL regular season games played, Larkin has amassed 140 points with 56 goals and 84 assists.  Which makes his points per game (PPG) hover just north of 0.57 PPG.

Larkin’s contract takes up 7.67% of the cap hit at the time his contract was signed (August 10th, 2018).

While Larkin’s numbers are respectable, you’ll see later on in this article that Nylander has only 5 points less than him, but has also played 57 games less, therefore Nylander will likely earn more.   Hence, Larkin represents the floor when considering the potential salary range for the next William Nylander contract.

David Pastrnak

Cap friendly lists David Pastrnak as signed for 6 years at 6.66 million AAV.  In 254 NHL regular season games, Pastrnak has 94 goals, and 109 assists for 203 points.  He scores at the high rate of 0.79 PPG.

Pastrnak’s numbers are exceptional, but not completely eye popping.  He is good, but not superstar good.  The next section reveals that William Nylander scores at a slightly lower PPG pace, therefore Pastrnak’s salary is used to represent the possible ceiling for the salary range of Nylander’s next contract.  Note: Pastrnak takes up 8.89% of the total cap hit as of the time he signed (September 14th, 2017).

William Nylander

Nylander has earned 135 points (48 goals, 87 assists) in 185 NHL regular season games.  His need to be re-signed by the Toronto Maple Leafs has been extensively covered this summer.

Since Nylander scores at the rate of 0.72 PPG, he should earn more than Larkin, but less than Pastrnak.  But, not so fast.  Remember how I referenced that each comparable player takes up 7.67% and 8.89% of the cap respectively?  Since the Cap has gone up 4.5 million since Pastrnak signed, it is entirely possible that Nylander will end up actually making slightly more AAV, even though his overall % of the cap he takes up will still be lower.

Let’s say Nylander signed for 8.4% of the cap, in comparison to Pastrnak’s 8.89%.  Since the cap in 2018/19 is going to be 79.5 million, and it was only 75 million when Pastrnak signed, Nylander should walk away with slightly more AAV.

The math is simple.  Take 75 million, multiply it by 8.89% and you get 6,667,500 (Pastrnak probably rounded it down to 6,666,666 because he likes the number 6 or he has OCD and he wanted balance).  Then take 79.5 Million and multiply it by whatever % of the cap you think Nylander will take up (I suggested 8.4% because it is higher than Larkin but slightly lower than Pastrnak).

The results:

Nylander signs with the Toronto Maple Leafs for 8.4% of the 79.5 million dollar cap hit, or 6,678,000$ AAV for 6 years.

That is basically the market value of Nylander’s next contract.  The exact term and whether or not he takes a hometown discount remains to be seen.

We may see him sign for less money and term, gambling on himself to perform well in a bridge deal.  Or we may see him take up slightly more term and ask for more salary.

If he signs for 6 years, my prediction is 6,678,000$ AAV.  If he signs for 8 years, he may make up to 7.5 million AAV, whereas if he only signs for 2 years, I could see him making as little as 6 Million per season.

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Either way, William Nylander is going to get paid well, and he’s going to be with the Toronto Maple Leafs to start the 2018/19 season.

Thanks for reading!