On Wood, Quenneville, Santini and more
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Though Miles Wood missed a good chunk of training camp and preseason play, he looks like someone ready to hit the ground running when the games begin to count.
He's been his usual self, darting around the ice 300 miles per hour, shooting a lot, and playing with an edge. His hands and playmaking also look to have improved. I wouldn't exactly say he's Nico Hischier level but he looks more confident carrying the puck and he's keeping his head up and making plays, which is nice to see.
The Devils are finally ready to give him consistent top-9 minutes and he looks more than capable of handling them. I'm excited to see what he can do sans Brian Boyle.
I've liked John Quenneville's shoot-first, ask questions later mentality (only Kyle Palmieri recorded more attempts in preseason). His shot is very powerful and is probably his best asset. He has to use it, especially if he is going to play in the top-9 when he is dressed.
I thought Steven Santini out-performed Ben Lovejoy in the preseason. I know the latter has worked well with Will Butcher in the past but I'd like to see Santini get the first kick at the can on the '3rd' pairing. He is still young and improving whereas we know what we're going to get with Lovejoy. Start out with the upside play.
I have no issue with the J.S. Dea waiver claim. He is a speedy, versatile forward who can play center or wing and last season he was one of the AHL's more efficient playmakers.
He has never really been given a real opportunity to ply his trade at the NHL level so I'm fine with giving him a shot. If it doesn't work out, it doesn't work out. There's no risk here.
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The Devils should give Miles Wood an opportunity in the top-6
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