The Toronto Maple Leafs have put the rumours to rest once and for all, and signed William Nylander to an eight-year contract extension.
The contract is the most expensive in Toronto Maple Leafs history.
The Leafs give Nylander a $4.5 million raise, but before being too critical of that number, keep in mind that they underpaid him by about that much for the last six years.
Nylander is one of the best Leafs ever, and signing him for the rest of his career is completely awesome.
Breaking News: Toronto Maple Leafs Officially Sign William Nylander
The $11.5 cap hit is only about a million more than Nylander's cap-hit in the season where he held out. The math on that contract somehow made it so in 2018-19 Nylander's cap-hit was $10.2 million.
In the five years since then, it's been just under $7 million dollars, and as I wrote on the day it was signed, it was a team-friendly deal. Time proved us right.
Nylander struggled in his first year, but only with his shooting percentage. The rest of his game was elite, and he just had the misfortune of returning from a hold out and getting crazy-unlucky. His peripheral numbers were elite then, and they are now.
During the course of Nylander's last contract, he posted the following Xgoals rating: 54%, 54%, 57%, 56%, 56% and this year, so far, 55%.
Those are elite numbers. They make him worth the money.
Nylander scored 40 goals and 87 points last season, and he is on pace to pass that this year. His 5v5 scoring is slightly down, but his power-play scoring is up.
Nylander currently ranks 14th on the alltime list of Toronto Maple Leafs top scorers. He has 484 career points, and has an outside shot of passing Rick Vaive later this year and moving into 12th.
Nylander's new contract gives him the chance to play another 656 games in a Leafs uniform, and would need 504 points to pass Mats Sundin for first all-time, meaning it's very likely that he will finish his career 3rd in franchise history, after Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner.
This is just great news for the Leafs. I have defended Nylander against idiotic rumours for the last seven years, but this season I did suggest on multiple occiaions that he was their best trade chip to get that long needed #1 defenseman. Though I still think that might have been the right move for the franchise, as a fan I am just psyched to see my favorite team re-sign my favorite player.
Far too often players are unable to play for the same team for their entire career, and no matter what happens with the Leafs, I think it's amazing that Morgan Rielly, William Nylander and Auston Matthews are all on track to do so. Mitch Marner too.
Make no mistake. This is one of the greatest days in franchise history.