It took a little longer, but the Devils and Miles Wood agreed on a new four-year contract worth $11 million over the weekend. The recently turned 23-year old left wing posted career bests last season in goals (19), assists (13) and points (32) in 76 games.
A key secondary scorer, the son of former NHLer Randy Wood has a good combination of size and speed, which is an asset on the Devils. A former 2013 fourth round pick, he enters his third season with more expectations. Now that he’ll be making just under $3 million on average, Wood will need to become more consistent. He slumped down the stretch and was a non-factor in the playoffs.
A rugged player who’s not shy about physicality, he must pick his spots better. A suspension proved costly towards the end of last season. Something he never recovered from.
With New Jersey facing more pressure to return to the postseason, Wood is one of those guys they’ll count on for scoring help behind the top line of Taylor Hall, Nico Hischier and Kyle Palmieri. Along with Jesper Bratt and Pavel Zacha, they’ll be asked to do more in 2018-19. Particularly Zacha, who hasn’t established himself in preseason.
The Devils visit MSG tonight against the Rangers at 7 PM. It’ll be televised on MSG with Sam Rosen, Joe Micheletti and Ken Daneyko having the call.
In other Devils news, GM Ray Shero indicated that starting goalie Cory Schneider will travel with the team to Europe. It’s still uncertain if he’ll be ready for the start of the season. The Devils face the Oilers in Sweden on October 6 with a cool start time of 1 PM on the first hockey Saturday.
Eddie Lack will get the whole game tonight versus the Rangers.