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Maple Leafs sign Nylander to eight-year, $92M contract extension

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The Toronto Maple Leafs have signed winger William Nylander to an eight-year, $92 million contract extension.

The deal will carry an average annual value of $11.5 million for Nylander, who was previously scheduled to hit unrestricted free agency in July. 

It is the largest contract in franchise history by total value. It holds $69 million in signing bonus money and carries a full no-move clause in all eight seasons, according to TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun. Maple Leafs captain John Tavares previously held the mark of the largest total contract with his seven-year, $77 million deal signed in 2018. 

The 27-year-old forward, who had two goals and an assist in Saturday's win over the San Jose Sharks, has 21 goals and 54 points in 37 games this season and is on pace for career-best totals in both categories. He opened the season on a franchise record 17-game point streak.

Nylander posted a career-high 40 goals and 87 points in 82 games with the Maple Leafs last season. He added four goals and 10 points in 11 playoff games before the team was eliminated in the second round. 

Playing out the last of a six-year contract, Nylander carries a cap hit of $6.96 million this season. He signed that 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 in the first season, 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 draft, Nylander has scored 198 goals and recorded 484 points in 558 regular-season games.

Nylander among NHL's highest-paid players

Nylander becomes one of 10 players scheduled to carry a cap hit of $11 million or more next season. Among them are Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews, who will lead the league once his four-year extension at $13.25 million per season kicks in, and Toronto captain John Tavares ($11M exactly). Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner carries a cap hit of just over $10.9 million, which is currently set to rank 11th in the NHL next season.

No other team has more than one player in the top ten, while the Florida Panthers - with Sergei Bobrovsky and Aleksander Barkov both at $10 million - are the only other team with two or more players in the top 15.

At an average annual value of $11.5 million, Nylander ties Erik Karlsson for the fifth-highest salary in the league, though the San Jose Sharks retained $1.5 million of Karlsson's cap hit in last year's trade to the Pittsburgh Penguins. New York Rangers star Artemi Panarin is fourth at $11.64 million and Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak is just behind Nylander and Karlsson with an average annual value of $11.25 million after inking an in-season extension in 2022-23.

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Nylander joins Matthews, Rielly as long-term Leafs

Nylander becomes the third player to sign with the Leafs through at least the 2027-28 season. 

Matthews signed his four-year extension prior to this season carrying a cap hit of $13.25 million through 2027-28. Defenceman Morgan Rielly is also signed long-term, carrying a cap hit of $7.5 million through the 2029-30 season. 

Beyond the three stars, just three other players are under contract with the Maple Leafs through 2025-26: forwards David Kampf ($2.4 million average annual value), Calle Jarnkrok ($2.1M AAV) and Ryan Reaves ($1.35M AAV).

Tavares and Marner will both be eligible for extensions this summer as they enter the final seasons of their current deals.