Simply due to the high value of William Nylander’s deal, he’s one of the less likely players to get moved. It does not clear enough space for the Maple Leafs to operate without the cap constraints that they currently have to work under. While he is definitely the easiest of Toronto’s core four to move, he makes the least by a large margin and produces more than well enough to justify it.
If you are looking at this and thinking “Nylander sounds familiar”, you’d be right. William is the son of former New York Ranger Michael Nylander. Michael and New York Rangers general manager Chris Drury were teammates in New York. It’s such a small world, that of hockey. Alex Nylander is also one of Michael’s kids, but he’s in Pittsburgh so he doesn’t have a place in this conversation at the moment.
Getting back to William, he’s a point-per-game winger that can be streaky with his production. He’s definitely had his critics for his defensive efforts in the past and would be unlikely to help the New York Rangers much in their current defensive zone struggles. He’s not going to find himself in a friendlier market. There are reasons he wouldn’t be happy, but the reason Toronto would move him would be to avoid giving him a say.
Nylander will have a modified no-trade clause inserted into his contract for next season. He’ll expire at the conclusion of the season which is why they would move him now. If they know Nylander is going to test the market, Toronto may move him just to get something back for him before they lose him for nothing on the free-agent market. While this may not be ideal, it’s just a possible option.
I understand that this doesn’t worth cap-wise for the Rangers, but it’s unlikely to happen anyway. Chytil fills Toronto’s need for a 2C after a breakout season. It allows them to move Tavares to the wing full-time as they did in the playoffs. New York sells high on Chytil’s breakout year knowing they have Trocheck as the full-time second-line center after his big free-agent deal last summer.
Working out an extension with Nylander would be a little more difficult after the fact, but the cap is supposed to be jumping up next summer which would give the Rangers more than enough room to make this happen. It would hurt to lose Chytil, but continued development and a 1st round pick next year aren’t of no value for the Leafs. Not to mention they get 3 million in cap space, which isn’t valueless.