The Toronto Maple Leafs were a big talking point on the Monday, May 15th edition of the 32 Thoughts podcast with Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek.
During the podcast, they discussed the future of the Toronto Maple Leafs core four of Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, John Tavares, and William Nylander.
Of these four players, the situation with Matthews is the top priority. Matthews has one more year left before he becomes an unrestricted free agent (UFA). He is not going anywhere.
Mitch Marner has two years left before becoming a UFA. So everything will be status quo for him. John Tavares also has two years left, so no future decisions need to be made about him yet.
That brings us to Nylander. Nylander is coming off a career year with 40 goals, and 47 assists for 87 points in 82 games. Like Matthews, Nylander will be entering the final year of his contract next season. With one year left at $6.9 million, Nylander is the easiest of the core four to trade from a cap space perspective.
While Friedman and Marek were discussing the possibility of trading Nylander, Marek suggested the Colorado Avalanche as a possible landing spot for the Swede. They point out that Colorado will be without team captain Gabriel Landeskog next season. Landeskog will spend the 2023-24 season on LTIR after getting a cartilage transplant in his right knee. Who does Toronto get back from the Avalanche in a deal that sends Nylander to Colorado? Are there better deals out there if Toronto makes Nylander available? Very likely that there are.
Possible Nylander Trade Options for Toronto Maple Leafs
I personally don’t think Toronto should trade Nylander, but if they do, here are some possible trade options that will help the team now and in the future. The asking price will not be cheap.
To Colorado: William Nylander
To Toronto: Bowen Byram (RFA), Jean-Luc Foudy (RFA 2025), 2024 1st-round pick
To Calgary: William Nylander
To Toronto: Rasmus Andersson $4.55 million (UFA 2026), 2024 1st-round pick
To Anaheim: William Nylander
To Toronto: Troy Terry (RFA), 2024 2nd-round pick, 2024 3rd-round pick
These are some examples of what it might cost other teams to pry Nylander away from Toronto. I’m sure there will be multiple teams calling Toronto regarding Nylander’s availability. We will have to wait and see what the future holds for him. If he stays in Toronto, I’m fine with that.