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Nylander, Maple Leafs 'closing in on' eight-year, $92M extension

William Nylander, Toronto Maple Leafs William Nylander - Getty Images

TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger reports the Toronto Maple Leafs are closing in on an eight-year extension with forward William Nylander, though a bit of work still needs to be done to complete the contract.

Dreger notes the the extension is believed to be worth $92 million over the eight years, carrying an average annual value of $11.5 million. 

TSN Hockey Insider Chris Johnston notes the deal will be the largest contract in Maple Leafs history by total value. He adds it is expected to include a full no-move clause and a favourable bonus structure.

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 four-year 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.

At an average annual value of $11.5 million, Nylander would tie 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 sixth with an average annual value of $11.25 million after inking an in-season extension in 2022-23.

Nylander became an eligible for a contract extension in July and is currently slated for unrestricted free agency this summer. 

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 year 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.