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Nylander says he wants to stay with Maple Leafs, downplays rush to re-sign

William Nylander Toronto Maple Leafs William Nylander - The Canadian Press

Toronto Maple Leafs winger William Nylander reiterated Wednesday that he wants to stay with the team as he enters the final year of his current contract.

Nylander, along with Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews, became eligible to sign an extension on July 1, but noted there's no rush to get a deal done.

"For me, the contract, obviously, I want it to work where I can stay there and be there," Nylander told "There's no other place I want to play, but I still have one more year left.

"I don't understand why there's such a big rush to do something right now. I still have one more year left."

Matthews ended his side of the drama just hours after Nylander indicated he wants to stay in Toronto by signing a four-year contract extension worth $13.25 million per year. 

Nylander, who is coming off a career year, said his agent had spoken to the Leafs regarding a new deal earlier this summer, but no talks have taken place lately, to his knowledge.

The 27-year-old winger said he has spoken to Matthews as the two face similar situations. While Nylander admitted that he wouldn't mind having a deal in place before the puck drops on the regular season, he and Matthews are both prepared to play out their contracts. 

Matthews said "I feel fortunate to continue this journey as a Maple Leaf in front of the best fans in hockey," when his extension was announced. Now all eyes in Toronto turn to Nylander. 

"We actually had a talk about wherever we were at, but we're both just focused on having the best year yet and getting even further than we did last year in the playoffs," Nylander said. "So that's where our mindset is at and if it gets sorted (out), it gets sorted. If not, it's not going to bother us.

"We're just going to keep playing."

Nylander had 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. 

He will carry a cap hit of $6.96 million in the last season of his six-year deal.  

Drafted eighth overall by the Maple Leafs in 2014, Nylander has 177 goals and 430 points in 521 career games.