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Could the Avalanche and Maple Leafs Talk Trade for William Nylander?

If the Toronto Maple Leafs contemplate trading William Nylander, how likely are the Colorado Avalanche as a potential landing spot?

Speculation will run wild in Toronto over the next few weeks as the team goes off for the summer following another early-round playoff exit. Questions about management, the roster, the coaching staff, and more will hover over the organization like a dark cloud throughout the NHL Entry Draft, free agency, and into training camp. Among the players likely to get a lot of attention is William Nylander.

Considered a member of the core four, Nylander (like Auston Matthews) only has one more year on his current deal. Also like Matthews, the expectation is that he’ll get a hefty bump in salary and questions about whether the Maple Leafs can afford to keep him while negotiating Matthews’ new deal will be front-page news.

Some analysts are already talking trade speculation, including Jeff Marek of the 32 Thoughts podcast who suggested fans watch for the Colorado Avalanche when it comes to a potential landing spot for Nylander. Two teams who want to remain in contention, if a trade goes down here, it could be a whopper.

William Nylander Colorado Avalanche trade rumors
William Nylander Colorado Avalanche trade rumors

Marek explained:

“If you make William Nylander available, I know a lot of Nylander haters won’t like to hear this, there will be a huge market for William Nylander…The one that keeps popping out to me when I think about if the Leafs want to go to market with Nylander is Colorado.” He adds, “You telling me the Avalanche, where [Gabriel] Landeskog is not playing next season and we have a whole bunch of questions about the future of [Valeri] Nichushkin, you’re telling me that couldn’t be a home for someone like Nylander and with their structure and with their leadership group?”

Marek is suggesting here that will the Avs potentially be without Nichuskin — reports were that a very intoxicated woman was found in his hotel room during the Avs’ series with the Seattle Kraken and the forward never returned to the team after the news broke — and after learning Landeskog would miss all of next season due to injury, that the Avs badly need offense. Nylander is among the most dynamic offensive players in the NHL.

What Would an Avs and Maple Leafs Trade Look Like?

The issue becomes what the Avalanche could possibly offer Toronto. The Maple Leafs don’t want prospects or draft picks because they aren’t rebuilding. If the Leafs are going to move Nylander, they’ll want effective, but less costly players to replace him. They’ll likely be looking to beef up an area of weakness.

Cale Makar is certainly out of the realm of possibility, but is Bowen Byram? One would think the Avs wouldn’t dare part with the young defenseman, but Nylander is quite a player and Byram is a pending RFA. Toronto may ask.

If that’s a no-go, what about a package that includes someone like Devon Toews or Samuel Girard? These players would certainly help the Maple Leafs on the blue line, but would it be enough?

Next: Auston Matthews Says Intention Is To Remain with Maple Leafs

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