Nylander looking out for self in contract talks with Maple Leafs: report

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Restricted free agent, skating in Sweden, says he's concerned about future.

William Nylander, a restricted free agent forward, says he is taking care of his future as he negotiates with the Toronto Maple Leafs, according to a report in Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet. He also said he wanted to remain with the Maple Leafs.

“At the end of the day I need to look out for myself and make the decisions me and my agent believe are the correct ones” Nylander told Aftobladet. “I need to think long-term. It’s my future we’re talking about here.”

Nylander, 22, remains in his native Sweden and is working out on his own. He missed the first game of Toronto’s season on Wednesday, a 3-2 overtime victory against the Montreal Canadiens at Scotiabank Arena.

On Tuesday, Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan said the young players on the team should consider taking less money to provide the best opportunity for the franchise to win its first Stanley Cup since 1967.

Forwards Auston Matthews, 21, and Mitchell Marner, 21, each can become a restricted free agent July 1, 2019.

“It’s not for everyone,” Shanahan said, referring to the pitch the Maple Leafs are making to those players. “But for the ones that will play here, that is what they want or that’s what we want from them, and I think that’s what they want from each other. And at the end of the day, I think that’s what you look back on and remember the most is how they interact with their teammates and whether they were able to be a part of something like this.”

Nylander, who debuted with the Maple Leafs three seasons ago, had 61 points (20 goals, 41 assists) last season. He also had 61 points (22 goals, 39 assists) in 2016-17. He was the No. 8 pick in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Nylander says he has been working out regularly with on-ice sessions in Sweden and he will be ready to report once he has a new contract.

He did not watch the Maple Leafs game on Wednesday, but he said he caught the highlights on Thursday.

“I saw the highlights from the game in the morning,” Nylander said. “Some really nice goals in the game. Of course, I’d like to play, but it is what it is. But I do want to stay in Toronto.”

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