Maple Leafs sign William Nylander to six-year deal

Mar 24 2018 Toronto Ontario CAN  Toronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander celebrates after scoring against Detroit Red Wings

He has appeared in 185 games over three seasons and recorded 135 points (48 goals, 87 assists) while adding eight points (two goals, six assists) in 13 career Stanley Cup playoff games. "He's a big part of this team", Matthews said.

First-year Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas was negotiating with Nylander's agent Lewis Gross. The contract also comes with a $24.5 million signing bonus, per Sportsnet's Nick Kypreos.

It is highly likely that the deal Nylander signed was put in place some time ago as a failsafe if the two parties were unable to agree on a more satisfactory deal to keep Nylander as a long-term Leaf.

"If he's here after December 1st, we will be very lucky, very happy and move on with him". I'm excited now to add William to the group. In the end, one of the most talented young forwards in the National Hockey League returns to a team that is 19-8-0 this season and has designs on winning its first Stanley Cup since 1967. "I didn't think we had our A-game at all in the second half of the game and, yet, we found a way to win".

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"It's great news. We hope to get him here as soon as possible, " Matthews said after Toronto's 5-3 win over Minnesota on Saturday night. "We want him back and that's it".

The son of former NHLer Michael Nylander was the first of Toronto's young star forwards - Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner are the others - to hit restricted free agency.

His teammates have been, and still are, suffering though the non-stop questions and speculation surrounding the highly-publicized negotiation between the Maple Leafs and the 22-year-old's camp as the RFA signing deadline looms. Nylander has tallied 61 points in each of the last two seasons, posting two straight 20-plus goal campaigns. I think we always tried to stay optimistic and have faith that our offers were fair and that they were coming from a good place as well and that, in the end, him missing a full season and having it go across 5 o'clock today wouldn't have been good for anybody. He hasn't played a game yet while reportedly training in Europe.

Nylander was the eighth overall pick in the 2014 NHL Draft.

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