Former NHLer Randy Wood played twelve seasons in the NHL as a left winger for the New York Islanders, Buffalo Sabres, Toronto Maple Leafs and the Dallas Stars. Randy can still recall the epic battles he had with Devils legends Ken Daneyko, and the emotion that he played with in the games vs. the divisional rival in East Rutherford. When Randy retired from the NHL in 1997, the last thing he could have imagined was that roughly 19 years later, he would be attending the New Jersey Devils second annual Fathers Trip with his son Miles.
Miles Wood, who was drafted by the New Jersey Devils as the 100th overall pick in the 2013 NHL Draft is currently enjoying his first season as a mainstay in the Devils lineup. Miles appeared in one game last season after deciding to leave Boston College following his freshman season. Although leaving college early was a tough decision for the Wood family, Randy understood that the opportunity for Miles to play for General Manager Ray Shero, a focal figure in the USA Hockey system, would be the best possible situation for his son.
Miles Wood has quickly become a favorite among the New Jersey Devils fan base. As part of the clubs' youth movement, the 21-year-old Wood has not let the NHL stage get too big for him. Growing up with a father in the NHL, Miles reminisces the feeling of getting high-fives from dads' teams prior to games, and hasn't forgotten how important that was. When speaking about skating on the Prudential Center ice in-front of thousands of young fans (many of which are hoping to share the same dream as him one day), Miles is passionate about making a connection with the fan base. "Kids come up to me, that I see all the time down there, right before we head onto the ice, [and I'm] slapping their high-fives. It's weird for me because I was that kid. I always slap them high-five because I thought it was the coolest thing ever, so I always do that. I love playing the game and I love playing for them."
The father and son duo realize how special it is to be a player in the NHL. "When speaking on watching his son live his goal, Randy Wood is an overjoyed dad. "I'm so proud of where he is because I know how hard he's worked. This is what he wanted to do. He's at the top league of the world…that's what it is really fun to watch." Miles is thankful for his status in the NHL and isn't taking the opportunity for granted. "It's just weird how time flies. I was just a prep school kid, small town kid. Next thing you know, I'm playing in a National Hockey League rink. There's something special about playing in front of 20,000 people."
Miles Wood has showed his skill set in New Jersey and continues to improve on a nightly basis. In twenty games played this year, Miles has totaled four goals and an assist, accumulated over 212 minutes TOI and dropped the gloves for his first two professional fights. The Devils rookie put it very simply when asked if he's satisfied with his path to the big league. "It's been a fun two years and I'm happy where I am." We're sure that Devils fans everywhere are happy to him wearing the red and black.