Treliving says extending Nylander is 'next on the list'
With Auston Matthews' new four-year deal signed, Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brad Treliving's focus has shifted William Nylander and his expiring contract.
The 27-year-old winger, who is coming off a career year in Toronto, is entering the last of a six-year deal signed in 2018.
"Willy is a really important player and a really good player, and we want to get him done, too,” Treliving told TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun for The Athletic. “That’s next on the list.”
Treliving said he intends to hold further talks with Nylander’s camp before the season and the winger’s agent, Lewis Gross, told LeBrun they remain open to getting a deal done.
“I’m not going to get into the play-by-play of it other than to say he’s a very good player and you always want to keep the good players,” Treliving added. “And he’s told me he wants to be in Toronto. That’s the most important thing. If there’s a desire on both sides, then you should be able to come to an agreement.
“But these things take time. They’re all their own independent deals, and they have their own ebbs and flows.”
LeBrun adds he believes that the March trade deadline will not be much of a factor for Nylander so long as the Leafs are contenders again. The team appears to be willing to go all the way to next summer to get a deal done.
Nylander tallied career highs in goals (40) and assists (47) last season. He added four goals and 10 points in 11 playoff games before the team was eliminated in the second round.
A pending unrestricted free agent, Nylander signed his current deal with then-general manager Kyle Dubas in 2018. After being unable to come to a contract agreement that kept him out of the Maple Leafs' lineup to start the 2018-19 season, Nylander inked a deal worth a total of $45 million and carried a value of $10.2 million, but narrowed to $6.9 million in the years that followed. The deal carries a 10-team no-trade list this season.
Drafted by the Maple Leafs with the eighth-overall pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, Nylander has scored 177 goals and recorded 430 points in 521 regular-season games.
Nylander's new contract has been one of the many tasks the new Leafs general manager has been challenged with since being appointed to the role. Already completed on that list is Matthews' contract, an extension for head coach Sheldon Keefe, and goaltender Ilya Samsonov's contract arbitration, which resulted in a one-year deal.
The Maple Leafs open camp on Sept. 20 with their regular season opening up against the Montreal Canadiens on Oct. 11.