You're confusing some terminology. Average annual value (AAV) is the same as "cap number". This is the annual value of the contract. "Cap hit" is the actual value applied to the cap based on number of days on the roster x the daily amount (which is just the AAV divided by the number of days in a season; 186 I believe).

Nylander's 1st year cap number was higher so that the daily rate is higher. Multiply that by the number of days he spent on the roster and it equals the full AAV of subsequent years. Assuming he is never on LTIR, his cap hit (not cap number) is now the same in every year of the contract, including the 1st.

You are correct, sir.

In 2012 the Hurricanes signed a college free agent named

Jeremy Welsh to a 1-year contract with just 1 game left in the regular season. The deal paid him a signing bonus of $92,500 and had a yearly salary that would have paid him $832,500 over the course of a full season.

Because of the same sort of rules about players signing after the start of the season that effected Nylander's "cap hit", the AAV on Welsh's contract was $17,945,000. $17,945,000. $17,945,000!

He of course did not actually take up $17.9mil of Carolina's cap space that season. That would be absurd. He only spent about a day or two on Carolina's roster, so he actually only accounted for about $5,000-10,000 on their cap.

Looking at Nylander, his AAV was $10,277,778. But because of the number of days he spent on Toronto's roster, his daily cap hit by the end of the season accumulated to only $6,962,366. That's the important number here, not the $10mil AAV.