New Jersey Devils: 5 Predictions For Second Half Of Season

Mar 23, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New Jersey Devils center Janne Kuokkanen (59), defenseman Sami Vatanen (45) and goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood (29) celebrate win against the Philadelphia Flyers during the third period at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 23, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New Jersey Devils center Janne Kuokkanen (59), defenseman Sami Vatanen (45) and goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood (29) celebrate win against the Philadelphia Flyers during the third period at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /
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New Jersey Devils
Miles Wood #44 of the New Jersey Devils (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Miles Wood Stays On Current Pace

Just because Hughes is going to usurp him in goals scored doesn’t necessarily mean that Wood has to slow down. Wood has been a revelation this season, finally finding a way to use his speed to his advantage. He’s severely cut down on penalties. He’s had by far the least amount of penalty minutes per game this season. In 30 games, he only has 19 total penalty minutes. He hasn’t been a detriment on the ice and hasn’t put his team in a bad spot.

That’s led to Ruff giving him the most minutes per game than he’s ever had. Wood is averaging more than 14 minutes per game. He’s been trusted in important situations, and the team has used his line as a change of pace. His linemates are learning he will always race out of the defensive zone, and that can lead to chances when the defense is sleeping.

Wood is on pace for 17 goals if he doesn’t miss any games. That can absolutely happen. He might not be scoring at the pace he was at the beginning of the season, but he still has three goals this month. If he can score at a slightly higher pace, he should easily get eight more goals before the end of the season. The Devils in general have been scoring more as of late, and it looks like they are finally shaking off the side effects of the virus. That will lead to good Miles Wood games.

Wood is still trying to prove he is an asset worth protecting in the Seattle Kraken expansion draft. Putting up a real fight with Hughes for the goal lead will give the Devils a reason to keep him in the locker room.