Nazem Kadri scores victor, Maple Leafs beat Wild, 5-3

Tanya Simon
December 5, 2018

The Toronto Maple Leafs have signed William Nylander to a six-year contract on Saturday night before the 5 pm deadline.

Nylander has 48 goals and 87 assists in 185 games for the Leafs, who drafted him eighth overall in 2014. "Hopefully he gets us on a run here, gets in a couple practices".

He was third on the Maple Leafs behind Marner (69) and Matthews (63). Hyman's diligence, especially in the offensive zone, puts him in coach Mike Babcock's good side every day. 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.

Also complicating things were the new contracts Leafs forwards and pending RFAs Matthews and Marner will require before next season, as well as the fact that the contract impasse with Nylander bled into the 2018-19 season, adding to the financial creativity in this deal.

Which of the players mentioned above would you have on your team ahead of Nylander? "He is doing what he feels is necessary and we want him back".

"High skill, I think he can control the play", Leafs forward Patrick Marleau said. "I have to continue to play, get my legs back under me and my wind back, hope to continue to play better". "I think that's a big key to our team and something we have going for us that not a lot of teams do is having a lot of depth".

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Kapanen has grabbed hold of his opportunity playing further up the lineup with 10 goals and eight assists, while fellow winger Andreas Johnsson has also benefited from Nylander's absence.

"You always kind of maintain that faith. But in the end, we're happy that it did end with him signing, for sure".

Still, there's no contract and Nylander remains out of the picture as the Leafs battle for first place in the Atlantic Division.

Had Nylander not been signed by 5 p.m., he would have been ineligible to play in the National Hockey League this season.

Matthews and Marner, a pair of 21 year olds whose entry-level contracts are set to expire next summer, have said they're talking with the Leafs about new deals.

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