Hey everybody. I just wanted to take a quick look at the extensions that the Leafs ‘big 3’ will need in the next couple of years. Lately a lot of us on Twitter have been talking about how much Nylander, Marner and Mathews should get paid.
Some even suggesting that putting either Marner or Nylander on the ‘4th line’ will affect that. Maybe even purposefully doing that to drive down the AAV of their next deal.
First and foremost, I want to state that I don’t think putting Nylander or Marner on the fourth line has anything to do with contract. Mike Babcock is all about winning his next game.
I believe that he’s either doing that to spread out talent through the lineup OR the team has 10 top 9 forwards and so it’s making it a little difficult to place everyone in the right spots. It could be a combination of both. Maybe even something I haven’t thought of but doubt it has anything to do with their next contracts. Everything that I talk about contract wise, is going to be based on the cap being at 80 million and their point pace as of today.
In terms of numbers and stats, which can be exhaustive and exhausting at times, I was going to get into great detail with this but you can factor in a lot of information and I don’t want to bore the hell out of you either. I’m just going to use this year’s stats and not the whole body of work.
I’m also just going to compare their stats to very recent signings as well. I basically just want to emphasize here that my process is very simplistic and probably nowhere near what the true process is.
First off I’ll start with Nylander. Currently he has 5 goals, 15 assists for 20 points in 29 games. That puts him on pace for about 14 goals, 42 assists for about 56 points. So a little behind his total of 61 from last year. Depending on who you listen to, some people will say you get paid based on points, others say goals. Joe Thornton (an assist machine) seems to make good money, so I’ll go with points.
Looking at deals for players that are wingers and around the talent level of Nylander, I have found Nikolaj Ehlers at 6 million AAV , Viktor Arvidsson at 4.25 million AAV and Nino Neiderreiter at 5.25 million AAV. Many people want to compare him to Pastrnak but Nylander is far below his point production. So in other words, I’m not doing that. The average AAV of these deals is 5.37 million
So based on last year’s production from those three different players like Arvidsson with 61 points, Ehlers with 64 points and Neiderreiter-with 57.
Nylander seems to be trending slightly below this, so I would say he would get approximately 5.35 million on a long term deal all things being equal and the cap going up slightly.
Now we go on to Mitch Marner. He currently has 2 goals, 14 assists for 16 points in 29 games. He’s on pace for about 6 goals and 40 assists. So approximately 46 points. Well below his 61 points from last year.
When I look around the league for wingers with current deals and around 48 points, I find players like Jakob Silfverberg (49), who makes about 3.75 Million AAV but is two years in, Rickard Rakell (51) at 3, 789, 444 AAV and Tatar(46) at 5.3 million AAV. The average of those deals brings you to approximately 4.3 million AAV. With the cap going up a comparable deal would be about 4.6 million AAV.
Now we get to final and biggest piece of the Leafs future, Auston Matthews. I find this one a little easier then the others because I feel like there are only two players to compare him to : Jack Eichel and Connor McDavid. Now if we compare him to Eichel, he should get about 20 million a year (That’s a joke by the way) but I’m not going to do that. I’m only going to use McDavid as a comparable, sort of.
Using roughly the same process as I did for the other two players, Matthews currently has 13 goals and 13 assists for 26 points in 25 games played. That’s on pace for about 41 goals, and 41 assists for 82 points in 78 games. Last year McDavid had 30 goals and 70 assists for 100 points. He signed for 12.5 Million AAV. He also won a bunch of awards at the end of the season.
The easy math (I’m not getting into points per game and all that stuff) would be to say that Matthews should get something like 80 percent of what McDavid received. So he would get about 10 million AAV. But Eichel got that amount and Matthews is better than Eichel who is on pace for 65 points. Matthews will get somewhere between the two, which is not surprising anyone reading this. Not including major sponsor deals like the one he just signed with Scotiabank.
Points wise he is slightly closer to Eichel than McDavid however. With the cap going up my over/under for Matthews will be 11.75. Personally I think anything below 12 is a good deal for the Leafs AND they have a future superstar for the next 8 years after his ELC.
Looking back at all the numbers we have Nylander coming in at about 5.35, Marner at 4.6 and Matthews at 11.75. Using my handy dandy calcumulator, that gives me 21.7 million.
Will their agents like those numbers? Well maybe Matthews’ will, but I’m not so sure about the other two. I really wouldn’t be surprised if one of Nylander or Marner or maybe even both ask for a bridge deal. This way they bet on themselves to have better seasons to upgrade their value but you also risk your value decreasing or losing out on money with something like a career ending injury.
Anyway, my hope was always that they could lock up the three for under 22 million but I would have been OK with under 25. Do I think they will sign at these numbers? I’m not sure really. I’m just looking at the numbers and nothing else.
I think I’m close on Matthews though. Having said that, I still don’t understand the Connor Brown deal. Maybe these other players take team friendly deals. The team as a whole would definitely benefit.
Have a good one. and enjoy the two games this weekend. 🙂