One of the few remaining restricted free agents has just been taken off the board.
According to a breaking news report from the New Jersey Devils organization, the team has agreed to terms on a new deal with 23 year old forward Miles Wood. The Devils have chosen not to release the financial terms of this deal but as is often the case other sources have been quick to jump on this and we are now hearing that this deal will pay Wood a total of $11 million over the next 4 years. That breaks down to an average annual value of $2.75 million per season and his salary cap hit will match that number moving forward.
Wood has thius far spent his entire professional career as a member of the New Jersey Devils organization and many felt that it was rather odd that this particular deal dragged out for so long prior to the two sides coming to an agreement on this new contract. Initially selected in the 4th round (100th) overall of the 2013 National Hockey League Entry Draft Wood has quickly blossomed into a capable NHLer. After just one season at Boston College Wood made the jump to the NHL and played 60 games during the 2016 -2017 season for the Devils, although he did also split time with the Albany Devils, New Jersey's American Hockey League affiliate. In his first NHL season Wood would record 8 goals and 9 assists for a total of 17 points but he also finished the season with an ugly looking plus minus rating of -21. In his most recent season however Wood saw improvements across the board and appeared in 76 regular season games with the Devils, this time spending no time in the American Hockey League at all. His goal total jump to 19 and he added 13 assists to that tally for a total of 32 points on the season. While plus minus is more a team statistic than an individual one he also saw improvements on that frotn only finishing with a -6 plus minus rating this time around.
Wood was a hold out in training camp and with the contract he has signed today now only three players in the National Hockey League currently remain as restricted free agents who are holding out. Those three are of course defenseman Shea Theodore of the Las Vegas Golden Knights, forward William Nylander of the Toronto Maple Leafs, and forward Nick Ritchie of the Anaheim Ducks. This is great news for Woods but I do not believe that it is likely to impact any of the remaining restricted free agents or their decisions to continue holding out until a new deal has been reached.