Nazem Kadri scores victor, Maple Leafs beat Wild, 5-3

Nazem Kadri scores victor, Maple Leafs beat Wild, 5-3

Matthews scored twice and added an assist in his return to the lineup Wednesday in a 5-3 victory over the San Jose Sharks after missing 14 games with a shoulder injury, while Nylander has been at home in Sweden waiting on a new contract. "He's a big part of this team", Matthews said.

Without Nylander, the Leafs have been sharp, winning 18 of 26 games to amass 36 points, tying them with the Buffalo Sabres for first overall prior to games on Thursday.

"A couple guys came early, we were sitting in here", Mitch Marner said in the Leafs room after the club beat the Wild 5-3. The agreement carries an average annual value of US$10.2 million this season and $6.9 million from years two through six. The pact was just before the league deadline to sign players and have them be eligible for the season.

"If he's here after December 1st, we will be very lucky, very happy and move on with him". "He is doing what he feels is necessary and we want him back".

But Kasperi Kapanen, one of Nylander's good friends, occupied the right side on that unit for most of the early part of the schedule until Matthews suffered that shoulder injury on October 27.

"We're all really excited about it", said Marner, who had two assists in the win.

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"Last year he was coming along with how well defensively (he was playing) and his compete level was rising each and every game, I thought".

"We want him back, for sure", defenceman Morgan Rielly said.

It is a huge sum of money for a player whose season high is just 22 goals and 61 points, but the Leafs feel their 2014 first-round draft pick has the potential to improve on those numbers.

It's a massive deal for a player coming off his entry-level contract and one that puts pressure on the 2014 eighth-overall pick because he's now making more money than numerous top producers in the entire National Hockey League.

But Kasperi Kapanen, one of Nylander's good friends, occupied the right side on that unit for most of the early part of the schedule until Matthews suffered a left shoulder injury on October 27 that ruled him out of action for 14 games. Nylander has added two goals and six assists in 13 playoff outings.

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