During the Toronto Maple Leafs broadcast on Tuesday night against the LA Kings, it was reported that William Nylander could re-sign with the team as early as next week.
According to Sportsnet's Nick Kypreos, if the Toronto Maple Leafs were to re-sign William Nylander, his contract is expected to be north of $11M AAV.
If that rumor is true, it's a scary idea because during the offseason, most fans thought they'd be crazy to pay anything north of $9.5M AAV.
With 19 goals and 50 points in 35 games thus far, Nylander is on pace for 117 points and 45 goals, which would go down as one of the best seasons in Leafs history. With every game, he continues to climb the ranks among NHL forwards and has put himself in the argument of being a top-10 player in the league.
Maple Leafs Re-Signing William Nylander Is a Scary Thought
Drafted No. 8 overall in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, Nylander has always been an underdog, despite his skill. Many people wanted the Leafs to draft Nikolaj Ehlers over Nylander, then once he showed up in Toronto, his work ethic was debated heavily, starting with his tenure with the Toronto Marlies. During his time in the AHL, you could see the unbelievable skill, but you also saw a player who lacked determination defense.
Although that incredible skill has translated to the NHL level, that lack of determination still follows him, defensively. I've seen first-hand how hard Nylander works on the ice during practice, but during a playoff game, is Nylander seriously that player you want to put all your chips in for?
If he's projected to make $11M AAV, we'd now be talking about four forwards on the Leafs roster essentially making $11M AAV or more for the 2024-25 season, which I don't love.
It would only be for one year, as John Tavares and Mitch Marner become UFA's during the summer of 2025, but are the Leafs really going to move on from either of them, too? The one benefit I see is that Tavares could be open to a home-team discount, but Marner's not going to do that during the prime of his career.
If the Maple Leafs re-sign Nylander, their team doesn't get worse, but the cap situation stays the same and that's the biggest part I'm worried about. The Leafs have had eight years of Marner, Matthews, Tavares, Nylander and we've seen the same thing happen in the playoffs.
Watching Nylander for another eight years with the Toronto Maple Leafs may be fun from October to April, but once the playoffs start, I can't really see the team's success changing. In fact, it's only going to be harder to compete next season if Nylander's salary goes up $5M AAV.