This is my Zach Parise primer which is a pinch-hit for primerfest at hockeypedia. It’s lighter on content than I would have liked but I hope it satisfies the prompter. All images and video were found through google, youtube and tumblr searches. If I’ve linked to something of yours and haven’t given proper credit or you want it taken down please let me know.
This is Zach Parise formerly captain of the New Jersey Devils and currently alternate captain for the Minnesota Wild.
Captain of the Devils.
With the Wild.
I was in an interesting situation with this primer since Parise was drafted by and has only played for the Devils up until now so all of his history and most of the pictures I could find reflect that. This summer he signed as a free agent with the Wild, to be closer to his family but at this point he has not played any games for them yet. (And with a potential lockout looming it might be awhile before we see that.) So for this primer I’ll just be covering his time with the Devils.
Parise was born on July 28, 1984 in Minneapolis, Minnesota where he has returned to play for the Wild. His father is a former NHL player who played for the Minnesota North Stars among other teams. Parise is already considered one of the best Americans to play the game. He is in the top 10 goal and point scorers among current American players as noted in this article which also includes stats for many other American born NHL players.
Parise started his hockey career at Shattuck Saint Mary’s, also attended by such notables as Jonathan Toews and Sidney Crosby. His father was also hockey director for the program. This is a picture that claims to be of Parise when he was at SSM but he looks so different to me that it’s making me skeptical.
He then went on to play for University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux, (as did Toews). The cup he’s holding is for being the regular season champion in the league. He also changed jersey numbers from 14 to 11.
He was drafted 17th overall in the 2003 NHL draft by the New Jersey Devils. He switched from 11 to 9 at this point and kept that number until he went to the Wild this summer. Have a picture of him at the draft.
Internationally, although his father is Canadian, he played for the US where he was born and raised. He played at the world juniors in 2003 and 2004, leading the Americans to their first ever gold medal in the tournament in 04. He was awarded Tournament MVP and best forward and named to the all-star team. Here he is with new Wild teammate Ryan Suter as alternate captain for team USA.
Parise signed with the Devils in 2004 but due to the lockout he was sent to the Albany River Rats and did not make his NHL debut until the 2005-2006 season. He scored his first goal in his first game in the NHL against the Penguins. The video is embedded below and I’ll link as well just in case.
He followed his rookie season up by scoring 30+ goals in the four subsequent seasons, including a breakout season in 2008-2009 when he finished 3rd overall in goals scored in the league. He was also named to the all-star game in 2009 and participated in the fastest skater event. He is the first skater in the video and does an interview afterwards. Link.
In 2010, Parise played for team USA at the Olympics as an alternate captain. He scored the game-tying goal in the goal medal game against Canada only to lose in overtime. Here he is with his silver medal and in a really bizarre photo shoot that Team USA did for the Olympics.
In the 2010-2011 season, Parise had to undergo knee-surgery and played only 13 games that season. He rebounded the next season with another 30+ goal season and led the New Jersey Devils all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals where they lost in 6 games to the Los Angeles Kings. I won’t include the pictures of him after they lost (the silver medal picture is already pretty depressing) but have the “Because it’s the Cup” spot that he did. Link.
When I started this primer I looked for a nickname for Parise but apparently it’s not findable with a google search. What I did find were a couple of amusing nicknames for two lines that he played on in this article. The first is the ZZ Pops line of Parise, Travis Zajac and Jamie Langenbrunner so named for the two ‘Z’ names and the fact that Langenbrunner was a lot older than his two linemates. The other is a line from this Stanley Cup playoffs, the ESP line of Patrik Elias, Petr Sykora and Parise for their last names and also their play on the ice. I’ll end this primer with this amusing interview with Parise. Highlights include the fact that he wants Denzel Washington to play him in a movie and he would be good at selling the Magic Bullet on tv. Link.
This ends my Zach Parise primer. Thanks for reading!