Maple Leafs Sign William Nylander To Eight-Year Extension
The Toronto Maple Leafs have made it official, signing William Nylander to an eight-year, $92 million contract extension. The average annual value is $11.5 million. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports the deal also contains a full no-movement clause throughout the deal.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates $69 million of the $92 million will be paid out in signing bonuses.
No surprise there. Friedman and his colleague Nick Kypreos first reported last week that the Leafs and Nylander were closing in on this deal, which was expected to be done by today.
Nylander has earned this contract. He was underpaid on his current deal ($6.92 million annually) while his performance steadily improved. He reached 80 points in 2021-22 followed by a career-high of 40 goals and 87 points last season.
With 54 points in 37 games, Nylander is on pace for over 115 points this season. As of today, he leads the Leafs in points and is sixth among the league leaders. The 27-year-old winger has established himself as an elite scoring forward and should be paid as such.
Nylander’s critics believe his performance will tail off now that he’s inked his big-money contract. That’s a possibility I consider unlikely based on his play over the past three seasons. He’s in his playing prime now and will remain among the Leafs’ best players going forward.
The Leafs had a projected $32.5 million in cap space for next season with 11 active players under contract before Nylander’s signing. This deal will leave them with around $21 million to invest in filling out the remainder of their roster.
With the salary cap rising to around $87.5 million for next season, the Leafs felt comfortable in signing Nylander to such an expensive extension. They can afford it but it could complicate efforts to re-sign or replace pending UFAs like Tyler Bertuzzi, Max Domi, TJ Brodie and Mark Giordano, as well as restricted free agents like Timothy Liljegren.
With Nylander under contract, the focus shifts toward Mitch Marner. He has a year remaining on his contract with an AAV of $10.9 million and is eligible for UFA status in July 2025.