New Jersey Devils: 5 Players In Jeopardy In Seattle Kraken Expansion Draft

Michael McLeod #20 of the New Jersey Devils (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Michael McLeod #20 of the New Jersey Devils (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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Miles Wood #44 of the New Jersey Devils (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Miles Wood

So, here’s where the scenario gets hairy. The Devils can’t protect Michael McLeod, Janne Kuokkanen, and Miles Wood (assuming Sharangovich and Zacha are locks). Wood is literally the team’s leading scorer this season. He might score 20 goals in a 56-game season that was destroyed by COVID. Wood has been the best story on the team all season long. He went into one of the fanbase’s most despised players. Now, he is a fan favorite.

He is doing everything that made him a good player before, but he’s eliminated a lot of the issues he had that made him so frustrating. He’s on pace to have a CF% over 50% for the first time in his career. His penalty minutes per game are way down. There can’t be any complaints about how Wood has played this season.

Wood is a player that will be an automatic take for the Kraken. He’s probably even more desirable than Kuokkanen (although, there can’t be many scenarios where both are exposed). He is one of the fastest straight-line skaters in the NHL. He finally learned how to use that speed to his advantage with consistency. He does a lot of the little things (tries to stop icings, hits players in the corner, gets underneath on the power play) that helps a team win.

Wood is finally taking advantage of the gifts he’s been given. He is still spending most of the time on the fourth line, but he’s doing the most with the time he’s been given. Lindy Ruff usually plays what line is hot at the time, and the Wood-McLeod-Bastian line is right up there with anyone.

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This is an incredibly hard decision for the Devils, and whatever they do, the Kraken have a chance to make them look very, very bad.