NBA First Half Awards
With the season just over halfway done, let's look at the major awards. Feel free to disagree but it's James Hardens world right now and we're just living in it.
William Nylander had until 5 p.m. on Saturday to sign a contract or he couldn't play this season. He avoided a Le'Veon Bell and Nylander signed a six-year deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He will average $10.2 million this season and $6.9 million over the next five seasons. This deal was signed around 4:55 p.m.
Speaking of deals, getting him signed is a big deal for this team. Kyle Dubas and the rest of the Maple Leafs organization doesn't have to hear about trade rumors anymore as well. Nylander will be a spark for this team.
He has played on the first line at times with Auston Matthews. It is most likely that Mike Babcock will do that again.
William Nylander scored 20 goals and recorded 41 assists last season. His plus/minus was 20. He is only 22 years old and Nylander was a first-round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have a very young core in Auston Matthews, Mitchell Marner, William Nylander, and Kasperi Kapanen. They also added John Tavares in the offseason.
Some other key players on the roster are Zach Hyman, Patrick Marleau, Nazem Kadri, and Andreas Johnsson. The Maple Leafs have four solid lines they could roll out. Toronto is a threat to score in any minute of the game.
They are one of the favorites to win it all this season for a reason. The Toronto Maple Leafs are currently in first place in the Atlantic Division with a 19-8 record with 38 points. They have scored 98 goals as a team and they have given up 70 goals so far this season.
Toronto has done this without Nylander and they might even look scarier now. Before the season started, I predicted that they would win the Presidents' Trophy this season and it is very possible that happens.
They are hoping he could play on Tuesday night against the Buffalo Sabres on the road. If that's not the case, then maybe he could return either Thursday night at home against the Detroit Red Wings or next Saturday night on the road against the Boston Bruins.