THE BANDWAGON PERSPECTIVE
Toronto Maple Leafs
The Toronto Maple Leafs are a team that I feel like I have to talk about, especially being from Ontario, Canada, where you’re either a Leafs fan or used to be one. As much as it’s fun to hate on the Leafs over the last 50+ years without a Championship, they have had some pretty good teams.
Yes, the Leafs are a little lackluster on the defensive side of the puck and they do give up the most shots against among NHL teams. But with D men like Morgan Rielly (24), Travis Dermott (21), and even Nikita Zaitsev (26) a year older and another year wiser, Leafs fans can expect some improvement on the blue line.
I’m not here to talk about John Tavares today. We know he’s going to do magical things for the Leafs offence and for the surging young talent the Leafs have. I’m here today to talk about one of those young guns, still without a contract.
William Nylander. What is his true value?
The Toronto Maple Leafs and Forward, William Nylander have not yet come to an agreement on a contract for the upcoming season. Nylander is in line for a big pay raise from his rookie contract. But with other young superstars with the names of Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner, the Leafs will have to do some fancy work to retain their young forwards, who are all going to be looking for big money.
In his first two FULL seasons (2016-2018), Will Nye the Swedish Guy had a pretty good showing with 61 points in each campaign, tallying at least 20 goals in each year and drastically improving his +/- in the third year (+20, up from -3).
Let’s compare Nylander’s career performance to other players around the league at the time of their signings (editorinleaf.com, 2018):
William Nylander Nikolaj Ehlers David Pastrnak
AGE: 22 AGE: 21 AGE: 21
POSITION: WING POSITION: WING POSITION: WING
GAMES PLAYED: 185 GAMES PLAYED: 154 GAMES PLAYED: 172
GOALS: 48 (.26gpg) GOALS: 40 (.26 ppg) GOALS: 59 (.34gpg)
ASSISTS: 87 (.47apg) ASSISTS: 62 (.40apg) ASSISTS: 64 (.37apg)
POINTS: 135 (.73ppg) POINTS: 102 (.66ppg) POINTS: 123 (.72ppg)
CONTRACT: ??????? CONTRACT: 7yrs, $42M CONTRACT: 6yrs, $40M $6M/yr $6.67M/yr
Ehlers and Pastrnak are two players with similar stats to Nylander at the time of their expiring rookie contracts. This tells us that Nylander should land somewhere around these contracts. Look for the Leafs to be offering around the $6M/yearmark, with Nylander likely asking for closer to $7.5/year, settling for a 7 year, $46.7M contract, with an AAV of $6.67M/year, similar to Pastrnak.
Food for Thought
With Nylander slotting in on the wing with Matthews and Marleau plus some time on the team’s second Powerplay unit, expect some improvement over last year’s campaign.
You know the saying, “Like father, like son?” Let’s have a look at Michael Nylander and his first three seasons with over 50 games playedin the NHL:
Not bad, right?
Now let’s have a look at Will’s first three seasons in the NHL:
Michael Nylander went on to have a good career in the National Hockey League and with a better supporting cast than his father had, we can certainly expect William Nylander to surpass his father’s career numbers of 209G-470A-679Pts.
A solid two-way playmaker with an excellent wrist shot. He is a dynamic playmaker with loads of upside with a highly skilled supporting cast. Look for Nylander to help lead the Leafs to a third straight playoff appearance.
2019 Projection: 80GP – 25G – 45A – 70pts