Don’t look now but the NHL’s preseason schedule is now underway and one of the league’s best young players is still without a contract for the upcoming season. With just two weeks to go until opening night in the NHL, Toronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander is still without a contract for the 2018-19 season.
The 22 year old Swedish forward’s three year, entry level contract expired on June 30th, 2018 and it would appear that he and the Leafs have done little negotiating this offseason. Despite some chatter about a potential long-term deal, not much has been reported on Nylander’s negotiations, leaving many Leafs fans wondering just what the hold up is…
With 42 goals and 80 assists through his first 163 NHL games, Nylander has done more than enough to warrant a long-term commitment, but for whatever reason the two sides have not been able to come to an agreement on dollars. Given his production and his draft pedigree Nylander has put himself in the conversation with other young snipers like David Pastrnak and Leon Draisaitl … but it appears that the Leafs don’t see it that way.
Pastrnak earns $6.7 million per season, while Draisaitl earns $8.5 million. According to a report from TSN”s Darren Dreger, the Leafs aren’t interested in anything over $6.3 million per season.
Check out Dreger's statement, courtesy of Leafs insider Kristen Shilton , also of TSN:
Dreger estimates #Leafs comfort zone on William Nylander’s contract would be $6-$6.3 million per season.
If that’s true, the Leafs could very well enter the 2018-19 season without Nylander’s services. While he may not command as much as Draisaitl, Pastrnak seems like an appropriate comparison, but of course Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas also has expensive extensions for budding superstars Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner to consider. For what it's worth, Pastrnak had yet to reach the 20 goal plateau in his first two NHL seasons, while Nylander tallied 20 and 22 goals in his first two campaigns. Suffice it to say, it’s a precarious situation and time is running out for Dubas and the Leafs to figure it out. Tick tock, Kyle…