The Montreal Canadiens in the 1975 Amateur Draft chose Paul Woods in the 3rd round, 51st overall. After spending two seasons with Montreal's farm team in Nova Scotia, Woods was sent to the Detroit Red Wings, in 1977, where he played the balance of his NHL career.
In 1977-78, Woods dressed for all 80 games with the Red Wings, scoring 19 goals and 23 assists for 42 points. As it turned out, that first season was Woods' most productive in his seven years with Detroit. In his time with the Wings, Woods proved to be a very reliable and durable player, appearing in no fewer than 57 games in each season.
As a junior, he had success as a member of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the Ontario Junior Hockey League. He was a three-year player with the team, turning out solid offensive numbers each season. He saved the best for last, when he scored 37 goals and 84 assists for 121 points in 62 games during the 1974-75 season.