Give William Nylander What He Wants and Sign Him Now
This topic could be a separate article (and much has recently been written about it).
Whether it’s because Willy Styles is playing for a new contract or that he has matured or that he has magically found an extra high gear, the fact is that William Nylander has so far been the Toronto Maple Leafs best player this season.
Nylander has at least a point in every game so far, and is skating circles around everyone that tries to defend him.
No longer content with outside play, he is cutting around defensemen and driving to the net. He’s working hard along the boards to dig out pucks. He’s hustling back to help defend. I swear he’s even thrown a body check or two.
Pre-season rumours had the Nylander camp looking for a contract extension in the range of $10M per year.
The same rumours had Brad Treliving looking to make a deal in the $8.5-9.0M range. If Nylander continues to play like he has, there will be no shortage of suitors willing to throw at least $10M his way (if not more) next summer should the Toronto Maple Leafs not extend him before then.
So why wait? Say what you will about tying up too much salary cap in four forwards, but it would be lunacy to allow a player with Nylander’s talent to walk. He’s already said he likes it in Toronto and wants to stay.
If Treliving was gambling that Nylander might not prove this season that he’s worth $10M and hoping to save a million or two, he’s already lost that bet. There’s no longer any upside to the team in waiting to negotiate an extension, so get it done now.