New Jersey Devils: Most Important Players For Rest Of The Season

Nico Hischier #13 of the New Jersey Devils skates against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on April 17, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Nico Hischier #13 of the New Jersey Devils skates against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on April 17, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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New Jersey Devils
Miles Wood #44 of the New Jersey Devils (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Miles Wood

Miles Wood has been as good as any player on the Devils this season. He’s cut down on penalties, which made him near unplayable last season. He’s scoring goals, leading the team with 14 on the season. Wood is still playing a hard-nosed style, but he’s making bad decisions. He’s able to use his speed without going through the goalie on the other side. He’s beating icings, causing turnovers, giving players an outlet from the defensive zone, and he’s putting himself into scoring areas. Wood really couldn’t do more this season to prove himself.

However, if he falls off a cliff at the end of the season, he could be heading to Seattle.

The Devils have a really hard decision to make. They will probably lose a really good young asset. It might cost them a draft pick to make sure the Kraken takes the player they want, or it might cost them one of their young forwards who they will be forced to expose. If Wood doesn’t prove himself further, the Devils might decide it’s best to make him the bait and replace him with some of their speedster prospects.

That would be a mistake, but this is just the reality of the situation. The NHL is a “what have you done for me lately” league. Wood needs to show his scoring can be consistent. Again, this is a terrible idea to expose Wood. He’s on pace for 25 goals in an 82-game season. He’s making a very fair salary for one more season. So, he needs to score like five more goals over the next 11 games to put this idea to bed.