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Nylander appears set to join the NHL's top-paid players list


With the Toronto Maple Leafs and William Nylander working on a contract that's expected to top $11 million annually, the Swedish winger appears set to join the NHL's top-paid players.

A cap hit of $11 million or more would vault Nylander, who carries a cap hit of $6.9 million this season, into the league's top 10 largest salaries for next season.

"It’s not done yet. Both sides have been tight-lipped, but what we can say is that they’re trying to hammer this thing down." TSN Hockey Insider LeBrun wrote Thursday in The Athletic. "I believe we’re looking at a max eight-year term at north of $11 million per season. Just how far north of $11 million remains to be seen."

Currently, nine players are 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 extension at $13.25 million per season kicks in, and Toronto captain John Tavares. Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner carries a cap hit of just over $10.9 million, which is currently set to rank 10th 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.

Matthews is set to take over the mark of the league's highest-paid player next season from Nathan MacKinnon, who held the title for the first time this season as his new deal with a $12.6 million kicked in. Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid, at an average annual value $12.5 million, held the mark of being the league's highest-paid player for five seasons before MacKinnon surpassed him.

Nylander could be fighting for as a high as fourth on the list, where currently Artemi Panarin sits with an $11.64 million cap hit. Erik Karlsson sits fifth at $11.5 million, though the San Jose Sharks retained $1.5 million of his cap hit in last year's trade to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak is sixth with an average annual value of $11.25 million after inking an in-season extension in 2022-23.

NHL's Highest AAVs for the 2024-25 Season

Player Team Cap Hit
1. Auston Matthews TOR $13.25M
2. Nathan MacKinnon
COL $12.6M
3. Connor McDavid
EDM $12.5M
4. Artemi Panarin
NYR $11.64M
5. Erik Karlsson
PIT $11.5M*
6. David Pastrnak
BOS $11.25M
T7. Rasmus Dahlin BUF $11M
T7. Drew Doughty
LAK $11M
T7. John Tavares
TOR $11M
10. Mitchell Marner
TOR $10.9M
T11. Carey Price
MON $10.5M
T11. Jonathan Huberdeau
CAL $10.5M
T13. Aleksander Barkov
FLA $10M
T13. Jack Eichel
VGK $10M
T13. Sergei Bobrovsky
FLA $10M

Nylander has 19 goals and 51 points in 36 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.

The 27-year-old forward 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. 

Drafted by the Maple Leafs with the eighth-overall pick in the 2014 draft, Nylander has scored 196 goals and recorded 481 points in 557 regular-season games.