William Nylander knows he's mired in a funk, and on Friday night he said his lack of production is weighing on him.
"It affects you," the Toronto Maple Leafs forward told reporters after a 3-1 loss to the Florida Panthers. "Obviously, you want to score and you want to produce, that's why you're here. You've just got to dig deep and work harder and harder. Do all the little things you can do to get better."
Nylander, who has recorded only one goal and two assists in 18 contests this season after posting 61 points in each of his last two campaigns, added that his struggles so far in 2018-19 are unprecedented for him.
"I think the chances have been there throughout a lot of the games and I just haven't been able to find the net," he said. "(Friday night) was a little tougher. I've never had a slump like this in my life. I'm just trying to find a way to work through it. I've just got to work harder and harder."
The 22-year-old held out until Dec. 1, when he and the Leafs came to an agreement on a six-year deal just minutes before the 5 p.m. ET deadline to sign restricted free agents.
Nylander downplayed the notion that his poor season so far has been tougher to deal with because of his new $45-million pact with the Leafs.
"I don't know if it's necessarily because of the contract," he said, according to TSN's Mark Masters. "It's more because of the missed time and being out of it for a while ... (the) past couple games have been getting better, but now it's time to score some goals."
Nylander isn't the only struggling Leafs player lately, as the team has now lost three of its last four games.