Toronto Maple Leafs: Nylander expected to sign before training camp

COLUMBUS, OH - DECEMBER 20: William Nylander
COLUMBUS, OH - DECEMBER 20: William Nylander /

The Athletic’s James Mirtle believes the Toronto Maple Leafs will agree a contract extension with William Nylander ahead of training camp.

The new season starts seven weeks tomorrow, and one of the Toronto Maple Leafs‘ biggest uncertainties remains the future of William Nylander. As things stand, the restricted free agent has yet to agree a new contract with the team.

There is nothing to suggest the two sides won’t — or indeed don’t want to — get a deal negotiated. The closer we get to puck drop on Oct. 3, however, the more that doubts start to creep into the minds of Leafs fans.

The good news is, there is nothing to worry about. At least not according to James Mirtle, who is the editor-in-chief for The Athletic Toronto.

Appearing on TSN 1050, Mirtle suggested the Leafs and Nylander might wait until closer to training camp to agree a new deal. Regardless, he expects the 22-year-old to be under contract by Sep. 13, when the Leafs hold their medicals and media day at MasterCard Centre.

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What Mirtle isn’t so sure about, is how long the term for any new contract will be. There is some suggestion that the Leafs are considering a two-year bridge deal, even though Nylander’s understandable preference is for a long-term contract.

If the Leafs do manage to agree a long-term deal with the 2014 eighth overall draft pick, Mirtle doesn’t believe it will be any longer than six years. As he told TSN 1050’s Andy McNamara, he believes anything more will be too expensive for the team.

From the Leafs’ perspective, it is understandable that they have one eye on Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner. Both are priorities, as they enter the final season of their respective three-year entry-level contracts.

However, it doesn’t change the fact the Nylander situation needs to be resolved asap. And if the team is smart, they will do everything possible to get him signed long-term, as opposed to a two-year bridge contract.

The Leafs might be reluctant to go above six years due to the cost. However, they’ll find themselves with a similar issue with a bridge deal.

Consider how well Nylander has already performed during his three seasons in the NHL. He is expected to only get better, meaning he will be able to command even more money in two years time.

It will be interesting to see how this all plays out during the time leading up to training camp. If Mirtle is right, Nylander will be signed; how long for though, remains to be seen…

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What’s your take on contract negotiations between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Nylander? Will they agree a deal before training camp and if so, how many years will it be for? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.