While all the trade speculation around the New Jersey Devils is focused on Taylor Hall, thanks to an expiring contract and struggling team, Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet reports there is another forward on the market. Miles Wood has been put “on the block” by the Devils writes Friedman, explaining that the energy forward hasn’t been “as aggressive or edgy” this season.
Wood, 24, is averaging fewer than a hit per game this season after racking up 97 in just 63 games last year, and has just three goals and seven points in 27 contests. That’s a far cry from his 19-goal season of two years ago, when he really burst onto the scene as an elite counter-punching option that could get behind defenders.
It was after that season that Wood signed a four-year, $11MM deal which keeps him under contract through the 2021-22 season at an average annual value of $2.75MM. That contract looked like a bargain then, but may be a hinderance to any deal now if he can’t get his offensive game going in the right direction. Currently on pace for just nine goals, there aren’t a lot of teams in the league that can afford to pay a struggling bottom-six player who doesn’t penalty kill nearly $3MM.
If the Devils continue to struggle this season there will be changes, and the fact that Wood’s name has come up quickly suggests he may be one of the first to move. Hall will continue to generate the storylines, but the rest of the roster is worth keeping an eye on.