having a huge amount of outbound links with no-follow
Having a huge amount of outbound links could be an issue, whether or not they are nofollowed.
I don't know whether it is a factor in the current/recent update, but if it is then removing them is unlikely to help until the next iteration. Whatever else it means, 'lay[ing] groundwork for future iterations' implies strongly that it will run periodically (i.e. it is not integrated in the main algorithm).