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Insider Shares What the Maple Leafs Expect in Return for William Nylander


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David Macintyre
September 15, 2023  (7:56 PM)
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Massive Deal Incoming?

William Nylander's future in Toronto continues to be a hot topic as he's still yet to agree to an extension with the team.
Now, it seems as if the Leafs would have bigger plans for a Nylander trade than most people would think, should they fail to get a new contract done. It would make a great meal of sense for the team to move Nylander for a top-pairing defenseman, but based on recent comments by TSN Leafs reporter Mark Masters, it wouldn't be one-for-one.
During an appearance on the Got Yer' Back podcast, Masters responded to former NHLer Jason Strudwick's confusion as to why they don't trade Nylander for «a legit defenseman.» Here's Masters' response:
«At least for this coming season, Nylander is the best contract they got. He's under $7 million and 40 goals. That's one of the arguments to kind of play it out here, right? You got this guy on a pretty good deal. He scored 40 goals last year and kind of faded a bit down the stretch, so maybe he can give you even more this year.

The belief with the Shana-Plan and this Leafs philosophy has always been, if you have those four guys, then you're going to have a chance every season, and you're in the playoffs, which they don't want to take for granted. I'm sure Brad Treliving will be looking throughout the season. It's obviously trickier during the year with the cap and all that, but to see if an opportunity were to arise somewhere, right? Usually it happens in the offseason, but maybe you can make that Jack Eichel type trade.»

Blockbuster Deal Necessary

Based on Masters' comments, a hypothetical William Nylander trade would require multiple pieces come the Leafs' way in return. Of course, Jack Eichel was traded by the Buffalo Sabres to Vegas for Alex Tuch, Peyton Krebs and two high draft picks, so Treliving would probably look for something similar with a stud defenseman as the centrepiece of the return.
Since that trade happened during the 2021-22 season, Masters' suggestion indicates that making a similar trade for Nylander during this coming season wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility. Whether or not Nylander extends with the Leafs remains to be seen, but this type of deal is definitely something Brad Treliving should ponder if the Swedish forward continues to hold out.
As seen on NHL Trade Talk
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Insider Shares What the Maple Leafs Expect in Return for William Nylander

Is this a fair deal for William Nylander?

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