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NHL Notebook: Golden Knights claim Tobias Bjornfot off waivers from Kings as William Nylander and Maple Leafs near contract extension

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Photo credit:Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
5 months ago
The Vegas Golden Knights have claimed defenceman Tobias Bjornfot on waivers, snagging him from the LA Kings.
The move comes a day after the Kings recalled top prospect Brandt Clarke, hoping to sneak Bjornfot, their 2019 first-round pick, through waivers.
In Bjornfot, the Golden Knights are getting a young player who has struggled to find his footing in the North American ranks. He arrived in North America in 2019, playing the majority of his time with their AHL affiliate. While the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons saw him play 103 NHL games, he found himself last year playing 50 games in the AHL.
In total, he’s played in 117 NHL games, scoring one goal and 15 points, and in 104 AHL games, scoring 11 goals and 31 points.
Here’s more from Daily Faceoff’s Scott Maxwell:
Based on the projected lines for the Golden Knights based on Thursday’s morning skate, Bjornfot is not expected to make his debut with the team for their game against the Florida Panthers. Whether Bjornfot will get into any game action with the Golden Knights or i he will just be serving as depth insurance for the team while their blueline injuries heal before being sent down to the minors remains to be seen.

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Leafs, Nylander nearing extension

The Toronto Maple Leafs and winger William Nylander are reportedly nearing a contract extension.
In the final year of a six-year deal paying him a $6.69-million AAV, Nylander is slated to be an unrestricted free agent this offseason. And with him in the midst of a career year, with goal, asssit and point totals well above his previous averages, he’ll be looking to cash in on a great campaign.
On Thursday’s edition of Daily Faceoff Live, Tyler Yaremchuk and Frank Seravalli discussed what that deal could look like:
Tyler Yaremchuk: William Nylander has been, night in and night out, the Maple Leafs’ best player. But whenever you talk about Nylander, you have to bring up that he is a pending free agent. Any update on the two sides and their negotiations?
Frank Seravalli: They’re still grinding away. There’s certainly some thought out there that they’re going to nail down this extension in the next couple days. I don’t want to put any prediction on a timeline, but the prevailing thought from people close to the Maple Leafs is that he’s gonna end up in that eight-year, $11 million-a-year range. Somewhere between $88 and $90 million.
I think the Leafs were hoping he would be south of $10 million, but there was zero chance of that happening.
If the deal comes in around what Seravalli is predicting, Nylander will become one of the NHL’s highest-paid players. A cap hit of $11-million, for example, would tie him for the sixth-highest mark in the league next season, alongside teammate John Tavares, and $100,000 more than another Leaf in Mitch Marner.
Those forwards ahead of that $11-million cap hit? David Pastrnak ($11.25-m), Artemi Panarin ($11.64-m), Connor McDavid ($12.5-m), Nathan MacKinnon ($12.6-m), and Auston Matthews, whose $13.5-m cap hit will be the highest in the league. Matthews’ extension is set to kick in next season, which increases his cap hit to that mark, from the $11.64-m it is this year.
Undoubtedly, the raise in salary for Nylander would put the Maple Leafs in a further curious cap position. Accounting for a salary cap increase to $87.5-m, the Leafs would — if Nylander signs at $11-m per year — have roughly $22.5-m in cap space. And while it seems like a lot, it would go quick due to the number of free agents they have alongside Nylander this year.
This offseason, Toronto has free agents in Tyler Bertuzzi, Max Domi, Bobby McCann, TJ Brodie, Mark Gioradano, William Lagesson and Martin Jones, as well as RFA’s in Nicholas Robertson, Noah Gregor, Timothy Liljegren and Simon Benoit.
Including Nylander, that’s a total of 12 players needing to be replaced. If Nylander takes up a third of their projected cap space, that leaves an average of $2-million per roster spot to fill things out.
You can listen to the full episode below.

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Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@thenationnetwork.com.

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