William Nylander looks to show his worth fresh off his massive contract extension

Photo credit:John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Joseph Zita
6 months ago
Coming off a fresh three-game sweep on the road in California and the massive eight-year, $92M William Nylander extension with Toronto in the rearview mirror, the Toronto Maple Leafs returned home as they look to finish the rare home-and-home against the San Jose Sharks with a win tonight.
The man of the hour, or in this case, the man of the day yesterday, was William Nylander, who inked a massive eight-year, $92M extension to stay in Toronto beyond this season. For about a week, it was reported that he and the Maple Leafs were close to getting a long-term deal done. The rumoured numbers were a little over $11M, $11.25M, and ultimately, the final number from Elliotte Friedman on last week’s edition of Saturday’s Headlines on Sportsnet, $11.5M.
Whether you think the cap hit is a fair value for Nylander, the 27-year-old bet on himself entering this season because he wasn’t satisfied with the numbers Toronto offered him before the season started. Well, it paid off for Nylander because he currently ranks tied for fifth in league scoring (54) with Connor McDavid and JT Miller and tied for 11th in goals (21) with Travis Konecny, Filip Forsberg and Mikko Rantanen.
Those insane numbers from the winger have him on pace to crush his career highs, set last season, with 47 goals, 73 assists and 120 points! I’m not sure if that 120-point pace will be sustainable, but if he plays an entire season, there’s no doubt Nylander can hit 100 points.
The only doubt that comes to mind after the extension is if Nylander’s production will fall off because he finally signed this massive eight-year contract. And although that is a reasonable doubt to have, I don’t think Nylander will stop trying. He’s averaging the most ice time in his career (20:16) and playing a little penalty kill as well. The minutes are there, and with the extra minutes come extra production, and we’re seeing it from him this season.
Tonight, he’ll look to continue his production against the Sharks for the second time in four days after he registered his fifth three-point game against them Saturday night, scoring two goals and adding an assist in the 4-1 win.

Pregame details:

Maple Leafs’ lineup:

Matthew Knies – Auston Matthews – Mitch Marner
Tyler Bertuzzi – John Tavares – William Nylander
Pontus Holmberg – Max Domi – Calle Jarnkrok
Bobby McMann – David Kampf – Noah Gregor
Morgan Rielly – TJ Brodie
Simon Benoit – Jake McCabe
Mark Giordano – Timothy Liljegren
One little lineup note for the Maple Leafs tonight: Sheldon Keefe mentioned to the media earlier this morning that Nick Robertson, who had been scratched for the past two games (ANA and SJ), might get back into the lineup tonight because of “some illness that has popped back up here today”.

Sharks’ lineup:

William Eklund – Tomas Hertl – Mike Hoffman
Anthony Duclair – Mikael Granlund – Fabian Zetterlund
Alexander Barabanov – Luke Kunin – Justin Bailey
Filip Zadina – Ryan Carpenter – Kevin Labanc
Mario Ferraro – Ty Emberson
Henry Thrun – Jan Rutta
Calen Addison – Nikita Okhotyuk

Projected goalies:

Martin Jones (TOR) vs Mackenzie Blackwood (SJ)


TSN4, 7:00 pm ET/4:00 pm PT
(Stats from Hockey-Reference.com)

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