William Nylander signs the largest deal in Leafs history
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Superstar winger signs the largest contract in Maple Leafs history

Published January 8, 2024 at 10:02

Brace yourself, folks - the William Nylander contract debacle is FINALLY over, as the 27-year-old superstar winger has signed a substantial extension with the Maple Leafs.

After a lengthy set of contract negotiations between Leafs GM Brad Treliving and Nylander's agent, Lewis Gross, which dates back to July 1st, 2023, Nylander and the Leafs came to terms to an 8-year contract extension on Monday worth a staggering $92M, an $11.5M AAV. This would be the largest contract in Leafs history by total value, per TSN's Chris Johnston.

According to Johnston, Nylander's deal will include a full no-movement clause and "favourable bonus structuring", which likely means heavy signing bonuses at the start of each season throughout the duration of his contract.

The highly-skilled Nylander had often been criticized for his lack of effort throughout the early years of his NHL career and had been accused of being lazy and disengaged in the past. However, those days are long behind Nylander, who put up a career-high 87 points last season, including 40 goals. This season, not only has Nylander's drive, consistency and commitment improved, but he has also begun killing penalties and playing a more defensively responsible game as well. He's also on pace to smash last year's totals.

Is Nylander worth $11.5M per season? If he continues to play like he has all season long, yes, he is. The question on everyone's minds is, how long can he continue to play at this level? If he can establish himself as a perennial 100-point player who drives play and plays in all situations, I don't see why he can't live up to this deal. It's also worth noting that, because of the style he plays, Nylander doesn't have as many hard miles on him as a lot of other star players his age, meaning that it's more likely that he remains an effective and productive player longer than most.

There's no question that Nylander has a lot to live up to now. Let's hope he's up to the task.

January 8   |   1187 answers
Superstar winger signs the largest contract in Maple Leafs history

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