New Jersey Devils: Miles Wood Can Be A Playoff Game Changer

Miles Wood #44 of the New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Miles Wood #44 of the New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

Miles Wood is taking a lot of heat lately. Deservedly so. The New Jersey Devils speedster had nine points in November, showing he can make a serious impact. Then, his point total dropped to three in December. It’s even worse in January. He has two points, but they both came in the Detroit Red Wings game.

No player has played at least four games this month and has fewer points than Wood. He’s taken 20 shots this month. Only Jack Hughes, Nico Hischier, Jesper Bratt, and Dougie Hamilton have taken more. There is clearly something different between Wood and the other four players mentioned. For one, the other four actually have a goal this month.

That’s the thing about Wood. He is incredibly inconsistent. However, when the light turns on, he can make incredible impacts at a moment’s notice.

With Wood going through his low point right now, one could hope he turns it back on for the stretch run and, more importantly, the playoffs. Wood in the playoffs could be a problem. He could be a problem for the opponents or end up being a problem for his own team. Taking penalties in the playoffs can send a team home early. Drawing penalties can turn games around. Wood does both.

Many are advocating for the Devils to trade Wood. We would implore for the opposite. When Nathan Bastian returns to the lineup, the BMW line will be back in full force. The Devils need to wait until that happens before making a move. Michael McLeod has also looked lost since Bastian’s injury. Let’s see what happens when Bastian, who has been skating, returns to the lineup.

The Devils in the playoffs need every option. This is a team with very little playoff experience. What they lack in experience, they can make up with a lineup that can hurt you with all four lines.

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Trading Wood for whatever he’s worth, which is probably a mid-round pick, won’t help the Devils now. Despite what some may say, he’s not an addition-by-subtraction player. The Devils should use a wait-and-see approach with Wood. He has all the ability. Eventually, it will turn into production.