Nylander signs 6-year extension with Maple Leafs at deadline
The restricted free agent signed a six-year deal Saturday, just before the 5 p.m. deadline. The deal is worth $10.2 million this season and $6.9 million a year the rest of the seasons.
Nylander, the Calgary-born Swede selected eighth overall in 2014, had to sign by the deadline to be eligible to play in the NHL this season. He and the club had been at odds on the terms of a new agreement after his entry-level contract expired July 1, with negotiations stretching through the summer, into training camp and ultimately forcing the 22-year-old winger to miss 26 games. The son of former NHLer Michael Nylander remained in Europe during contract talks.
“Going home,” Nylander posted to Twitter along with a picture of his Leafs’ hockey bag about 30 minutes after the contract was announced.
Leafs coach Mike Babcock remained confident throughout the negotiations that Nylander would eventually return.
“We think Willy’s going to be here, and we think Willy’s going to be here for a long time,” Babcock said earlier this week. “We think he’s going to be a career Leaf. That’s what we think. … That’s what we believe.”
Nylander is coming off back-to-back 61-point seasons, including a 2017-18 campaign that saw him score 20 goals and add 41 assists. He had 49 points at even strength, with a team-high 34 assists. He has 48 goals and 87 assists for 135 points in 185 career games. Nylander has added two goals and six assists in 13 playoff outings.