Longtime NHL veteran Zach Parise of the New York Islanders spoke with Kevin Kurz of The Athletic this morning and reiterates that he hopes to continue playing after this season. Parise is an 18-year NHL veteran and will turn 39 this summer when he will be an unrestricted free agent.
The Minneapolis, MN native was drafted 17th overall in the historic 2003 NHL draft class. Heading into the draft, Parise was ranked the ninth overall North American prospect, coming off of a tremendous 61-point season for the University of North Dakota. It didn’t take long for Parise to find his way to the NHL, joining the New Jersey Devils during the 2005-06 season.
In October of 2011, Parise was named the ninth captain in Devil’s history, replacing long-time captain Jamie Langenbrunner as the team leader. In 502 total games in New Jersey, Parise scored a total of 194 goals and 216 assists, helping lead the Devils to the Stanley Cup Final in 2012.
After his tremendous play in the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs, Parise joined Ryan Suter as the top free agent heading in the 2012-13 season. On July 4th, 2012, Parise and Suter signed identical 13-year, $98 million contracts with his hometown Minnesota Wild. Unfortunately, Parise and Suter would only play nine years of that contract, as both were bought out before the 2021-22 season. Playing in 558 games with the Wild, Parise scored 199 goals and 201 assists, failing to help Minnesota reach further than the second round of the playoffs.
After being bought out by the Wild, Parise joined his former GM Lou Lamoriello, signing on with the Islanders on a 1-year, $750K deal. In his first year with the Islanders, Parise scored 35 points in 82 games and has followed that up with similar production this year, scoring 32 points in 78 games.
Although Parise is in a race against father time, the forward is earnest on playing during the 2023-24 season. He will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season, but it will be hard to imagine Parise leaving the Islanders. Parise has notably followed the footsteps of his late father J.P. Parise, who played for the historic Minnesota North Stars as well as the Islanders.