Leafs William Nylander's Contract: NHL Front Office Execs Predict The Number

William Nylander continues on his scorching-hot tear this season, scoring a point in a Toronto Maple Leafs' franchise-record 17 games to start the season. He has 27 points in those 17 contests. He's winning games with thrilling OT goals, and displaying the confidence of a superstar. 

But the Leafs and Nylander have a huge decision to make, as the two sides continue to discuss a contract for the impending free agent. He's finishing up a $7M AAV deal, and his new salary is going to be going through the roof. Just how high that roof is, is a matter for debate. 

"The number has gone up," said Insider Elliotte Friedman on Monday. "I think the Leafs were hoping to get Nylander in the 8's or 9's. I just don't think that is realistic anymore."

Insider Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic polled a dozen NHL executives in rival front offices to see what they think Nylander's next contract will look like. Here are the results:

$12M - $12.M:    1

$11M - $11.5M:   2

$10.5M - $11M:  3

$10M:                 4

$9.5M - $10M:   1

$8.5M - $9M:     1  ("if I'm the Leafs.")

The most interesting comment came from one executive who said, "A lot of teams see him as the shiny sports car you splurge on when your portfolio is all in order. That being said, players that produce like he does get paid." This exec fell into the $10M camp, though he said not for a contending team.

Certainly, there's a wide range here, but all told, from 12 front office experts and two insiders, it appears that the AAV on Nylander's next contract will start with a '10'. 

But can the Leafs get there? 

Photo: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports