Canes sign franchise center to long-term deal; what it means for Nylander
BY RYAN SMITHERAM JULY 26, 2023 (10:45)
The Hurricanes announced on Wednesday that they have signed Sebastian Aho to an 8-year extension that will see him earn $9.75M per season. The deal will kick in for the 2024-25 season as Aho has one year remaining on his current deal. With the Canes locking up their franchise center to a very fair deal, Nylander's hopes of getting $10M+ per season on his extension have been crushed.
Aho, who is a year younger than Nylander and also a first line center, has unknowingly helped the Leafs in their negotiations with Nylander. How, you ask? Well, for one, first line centers are very hard to find while wingers are easier to replace, and second, Aho has been able to produce more consistently than Nylander over their careers. Aho has reached the 20-goal mark in all 7 of his NHL seasons, topping the 30-goal mark 4 times and the 35-goal mark 3 times while Nylander has reached the 20-goal mark just 5 times and only reached the 30-goal mark three times. Nylander does have one 40-goal season, which happened last year when he set a career high with 87 points.
Over there careers, Aho has played in 520 games, tallied 218 goals and averages 0.9 points-per-game whereas Nylander has tallied just 177 goals and has only averaged 0.82 points-per-game. Aho has also been more productive in the playoffs over his career registering 23 goals and 58 points in 63 games compared to Nylander's 40 points and 17 goals in 50 playoff games. In addition to the difference in points, Aho also plays on the penalty kill and powerplay, while Nylander doesn't play a 200-foot game only plays as a complementary piece on the powerplay.
Entering the last season of his current deal that pays him $8.46M, Aho will be receiving a 15% raise when his new deal kicks in. Taking Nylander's current AAV of $6,962,366 if you add a 15% raise, Nylander's next deal should come in at slightly over $8M. With Nylander's reported ask of $10.5M per season, that would equate to a near 50% raise on his current deal which is absolutely ludicrous. Nylander won't sign for $8M but his next deal should not start with a 10 either. If anything, it should be very close to Aho's $9.75M or Matthew Tkachuk's $9.5M.