During the Oct. 4 preseason game versus the Washington Capitals, Wood suffered an injury to his right hip. After exhausting all conservative measures, and in consultation with team medical providers and external specialists, Miles has elected to receive surgery.
Wood has not played yet this season and likely will be out several months, though a specific timeline is not yet available. The 26-year-old put up another strong season in 2020-21, scoring 17 goals in 55 games, tying him for the club lead with Pavel Zacha. He has also developed into a key leader from the group, serving as an alternate captain for the Devils since last season.
It’s a tough blow for New Jersey, which has suffered several serious injuries now this season. The team finds itself with a respectable 5-3-2 record, but that’s only good enough for seventh place in the tough Metropolitan Division. The season is a long one, but losing Wood is certainly not an ideal situation given his place with the team.
Perhaps more notably, however, this injury will also have huge implications on Wood’s next contract. He is set to be a restricted free agent for the final time next summer and could have elected arbitration to give him a one-year deal, walking him directly to UFA status. Arbitration will be risky now, however, given that his counting stats from this year will be very low (if existent at all). Coming off a four-year, $11MM deal, Wood likely would have been looking at a nice raise on the $2.75MM cap hit he carries. Now, it’s unclear what kind of negotiation will take place as he recovers from major surgery.