Speaking to the media for the first time since he signed a six-year deal just minutes before the 5:00 p.m. ET playing eligibility deadline Saturday, Nylander explained just how he made it happen at last.
“It was getting into the last 40 minutes before the deadline,” Nylander said of how it all came together. “I was talking to my agent and I said, ‘Let’s just call them’ and that phone call got everything done.”
As calmly as Nylander told this to the assorted throng of reporters around him, holding out right down to the wire wasn’t exactly a walk in the park for the 22-year-old.
“It was a shared learning experience that I don’t ever want to go through again,” Nylander said of his long negotiation with Maple Leafs brass.
Good news for Nylander is he won’t have to go through a contract dispute like this again for a while. For fellow young Maple Leafs stars Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner, that’s a whole other story, however.
“That was a big talk through the entire process,” Nylander said. “Fitting me in with everyone else inside the cap, so I think that was a big part of the process.”
Like he did with Nylander, that’s for Toronto GM Kyle Dubas to figure out now with both Matthews and Marner. Nylander for the time being can sit pretty, knowing he’s in the exact situation he wanted to be in all along.
“To me I always wanted to be here and that was not a question for me,” he said.