Cap comparables: Did Nylander get fair deal from Maple Leafs?

Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas joins Kyle Bukauskas to talk about the process of signing William Nylander.

The William Nylander standoff finally ended Saturday afternoon, mere minutes before the deadline was set to pass, with the forward agreeing to a six-year, $41.77-million contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

It’s a massive deal for a player coming off his entry-level contract and one that puts pressure on the 2014 eighth-overall pick because he’s now making more money than many of the top producers in the entire NHL.

Nylander’s prorated $10.27-million cap hit for the remainder of 2018-19 sees him join Connor McDavid, new teammate John Tavares, Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Carey Price, Jack Eichel and Anze Kopitar as the only players in the league currently with an eight-figure cap hit. However, starting in 2019-20 through the 2023-24 season his cap hit falls to roughly $6.96 million annually.

CapFriendly provided the specifics in the tweet below.

There were reports during the stalemate that Nylander had been seeking an extension similar to the eight-year, $68-million deal Leon Draisaitl inked with the Edmonton Oilers after his third year as a pro.

Nylander’s offensive production in his first three seasons was nearly identical to Draisaitl’s but the two players have different roles on their respective teams and one could argue Draisaitl is a more versatile player so Leafs weren’t willing to pay that amount for Nylander.

Two other contracts that were frequently mentioned were that of Johnny Gaudreau (six years, $40.5 million, $6.75-million cap hit) and David Pastrnak (six years, $40 million, $6.666-million cap hit).

Similar to Nylander, although not quite as dramatic, Gaudreau caused his team’s fan base some stress prior to the 2016-17 campaign. The Flames star missed training camp that year and didn’t sign until two days prior to the start of the regular season. Gaudreau went from scoring 30 goals and 78 points in 79 games in 2015-16 to just 18 goals and 61 points in 72 games in the season following his brief holdout. Will Nylander also have a drop-off in production when he returns to the Leafs lineup?

Gaudreau did however bounce back with 84 points in 2017-18 and is operating at better than a point-per-game-pace this season.

Pastrnak didn’t take a step back after agreeing to his contract. He also skipped a bridge deal after his impressive 34-goal 2016-17 season and followed it up with 35 goals the next year. So far this season he has 19 goals in 26 games. Even though the talented Czech was selected 17 spots behind Nylander in 2014 he has taken his game to a level Nylander hasn’t.

The best-case scenario for the Maple Leafs one where Nylander provides the same type of bang-for-your-buck production that both Pastrnak and Gaudreau have.

With that in mind, here are some other players on similar deals to Nylander’s:

— Sean Monahan: seven years, $44.625 million, $6.375-million cap hit
— Nathan MacKinnon: seven years, $44.1 million, $6.3-million cap hit
— Mark Scheifele: eight years, $49 million, $6.125-million cap hit
— Dylan Larkin: five years, $30.5 million, $6.1-million cap hit
— Nikolaj Ehlers: seven years, $42 million, $6-million cap hit
— Filip Forsberg: six years, $36 million, $6-million cap hit
— Jonathan Huberdeau: six years, $35.4 million, $5.9-million cap hit
— Jonathan Drouin: six years, $33 million, $5.5-million cap hit

Which of the players mentioned above would you have on your team ahead of Nylander? Let us know in the comments.

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