Where Is Miles Wood’s Future With New Jersey Devils?

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

Miles Wood has shown flashes in his time with the New Jersey Devils, but with his cap hit and a disappointing 2018-2019 season, does he fit into this team’s future?

Miles Wood has been a New Jersey Devils fan-favorite since becoming a lineup-regular in the 2016-17 season. His incredible speed, hard-hitting and willingness to drop the gloves makes for an exciting player to watch.

But, after a disappointing 2018-19 season, and Ray Shero’s electrifying (and expensive) offseason, does Miles Wood fit into the future plans of the New Jersey Devils?

Wood’s best season so far was the 2017-18 season, which showcased an exciting rookie trio, the Devils first playoff appearance since 2012, and the first Hart trophy winner in franchise history. It also saw Wood score a career high 19 goals and 32 points. This performance showed promise, which would lead to a 4-year $11 million contract for Wood.

At the time of this deal, the Devils still had some of the most cap space of any team in the league. However, after the recent off season acquisitions of P.K. Subban and Nikita Gusev, the re-signing of Will Butcher, and future contracts looming for Nico Hischier, Taylor Hall and Jesper Bratt (among others) Miles Wood’s $2.75 million cap hit may be the one to go.

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Now, this all really depends on Taylor Hall. If Hall doesn’t re-sign, the Devils will surely have enough room to keep Wood while still being able to give new contracts to other expiring players. But for the sake of this article, as well as the sake of my sanity, we’ll move forward with the expectation that Hall stays.

If anything, Wood probably becomes an unfortunate cap casualty. His cap hit isn’t astronomical, but it may just be the extra space the Devils need to keep themselves under the cap while still keeping the big pieces like Hall, Nico and Bratt.

Up-and-coming young players may also make Miles Wood more expendable. Forward Jesper Boqvist signed his three-year ELC this past June, and looks to have a good chance to make the opening night roster, which may just push Miles Wood out even sooner than expected.

This isn’t to say that guys like Boqvist, Joey Anderson, Brett Seney, etc. will necessarily be any better than Miles Wood in the immediate future and more deserving of roster spots. But with these players on ELC’s, and Miles Wood’s nearly $3 million cap hit, he seems like the most logical option to be shipped out to open up space.

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The Devils still have plenty of cap space for this upcoming season, so unless General Manager Ray Shero has any more tricks up his sleeve, this may turn out to be more of a next-offseason kind of discussion.

Wood brings an element to the team that the Devils would otherwise lack without him. However, with Wood playing at a position of strength for the Devils, and his cap hit, Miles Wood seems like a good trade candidate as the team continues to improve going forward.