Dreger: Too early to say Nylander trade likely

With nearly one month of the NHL’s season in the books, the potential of a William Nylander trade has to be increasing at least somewhat.

Darren Dreger had a Tuesday afternoon radio hit on Vancouver’s TSN 1040, and was asked if he thought the Leafs trading the talented forward - who is still without a contract - was possible, and who the potential suitors might be for his services.  

“I think it is possible. I wouldn’t say it’s likely, it’s still early for that,” said Dreger. “The Toronto Maple Leafs wouldn’t be doing their due diligence if they didn’t at least start talking about it internally. The deadline of December 1 is looming. If he’s not signed by then, he’s ineligible to play in the NHL. So what, are you going to get caught with an asset that’s not playing in your league? That doesn’t make any sense. I don’t think that they’ve reached the stage yet where they’re entertaining offers, or they’re trying to percolate more of the interest.

“Pierre LeBrun in the (Insider Trading) segment talked about Carolina’s ongoing interest in William Nylander. I think there are lots of teams that would obviously have interest. The Vegas Golden Knights are another team that definitely have interest in William Nylander.

“You’ve just got to get to the place - well, it’s twofold. What’s the expected rate of return, and what is William Nylander really going to sign for. If he’s unwilling to budge off a $7.5-8-plus million Average Annual Salary, is Carolina willing to pay that? That doesn’t sound likely. What about Vegas or any other team that’s interested.

“So I think we’re just creeping into the place where Toronto is at least willing to look at trade as a potential option.”

Nylander is coming out of his entry-level contract, and is a restricted free agent.

Contract-related info via CapFriendly