Toronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander is on an absolute tear, having registered at least one point in each of his first 17 games of the season. It was also a perfect ending for the Swedish native playing in his homeland during the NHL Global Series, scoring the tying goal against the Red Wings on Friday and then netting the overtime-winning goal against the Wild on Sunday.
Of course, all of this happens to be taking place in the final year of his current contract. There were several reports over the offseason that Nylander refused to budge on his asking price, and that he would not be taking a discount to try and remain with the team.
What exactly can Nylander expect to fetch in his newest contract with the Leafs or another team, especially given his torrid pace to start the year? According to NHL analyst Pierre LeBrun in a conversation that he held with several anonymous executives, it's going to be a hefty payday for the Swedish native next summer.
Executive No. 1:
"This is a very similar situation to Boston with (David) Pastrnak. Pastrnak signed in March (eight years, $11.25 million) of a season he finished with 61 goals and 113 points. So to me, the fair number would be eight years north of $11 million. I know Matthews is at $13.25 million, but only four-year term. If Nylander goes eight years at $11.5 million, that's $92 million guaranteed dollars where he would have to get over $13 million externally on a 7-year deal to match that money, which is hard to do."
Executive No. 2:
"I don't see how it's less than $11 million, given the rising cap and the season he's having unless he wants to take a discount to go to a destination of choice. On a seven- to eight-year deal, that is."
Executive No. 6:
“Depends on his mindset. Aho (eight years, $9.75 million AAV) is an easy comparable and can be considered fair. But with Toronto’s food chain, he shouldn’t be too far away from what Marner gets next. So that bumps it into $10.5 to $11.5 million territory. He’ll have leverage if he wants it, but if he wanted to keep the core together with 34 and 16, then it shouldn’t be too much more than Aho, who is actually at the top of their food chain. But Aho bought in on a bigger organizational picture and didn’t have a 34, 16 and 91 all making more than him. (Nylander’s) having the right season and a half at the right time. He could cash in, in free agency. Depends if he wants to. If he re-signs, I could see 10.5 to 11.5 million.”
It's going to be one of the more intriguing storylines entering the free agency period as to where Nylander will suit up and how much he'll be earning in 2024-25.