William Nylander is staying in Toronto.
The 22-year-old Swedish forward avoided sitting out the 2018-19 NHL season by signing a six-year contract extension with the Maple Leafs on Saturday afternoon.
The RFA had until the 5:00 PM EST deadline on Dec. 1 to sign an extension with the team. According to reports, the extension was filed at 4:55 p.m. ET. Talk about cutting it close.
The extension has a current season average annual value (AAV) of $10.2M and an out-year (years 2-6) AAV of $6.9M.
Told Nylander is staying. Done deal 6 yrs.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) December 1, 2018
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) December 1, 2018
The agreement finally brings a conclusion to almost five months of negotiations between general manager Kyle Dubas and Nylander’s representatives, agent Lewis Gross and his father Michael Nylander.
Nylander had 61 points (20 goals, 41 assists) in 82 games for the Leafs last season. He’ll be re-joining an explosive Toronto offence that has been carried by Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, John Tavares and Kasperi Kapanen so far this season.
Forward Mike Peca was the last NHL player to sit out an entire season due to a contract dispute, missing the 2000-01 campaign with the Buffalo Sabres at age 26.
Welcome back, Willy.