Now that the Wild have some firepower up front in the shinny new toy that is Zach Parise, what can be expected of him? Parise was the top offensive NHL free gent and he ended up in Minnesota, so let's look at some numbers and what Minnesota can hope to see this year on the ice!
Let's start with the facts. Zach Parise is:
-28 Years Old
-A 1st round pick in 2003 where he was selected 17th (11 players drafted in the top 20 have been all stars, including Ryan Suter)
-Plays left wing at 5-11 and around 200 pounds
-Has 5 seasons of 30 or more goals and 1 season of 40+ (45 in `08-`09)
For all below statistical analysis I will not be including the 2010-2011 season. This is because Parise had knee problems and only played in 13 games. A main reason this season can be thrown out the window is that he came back from injury and had a very strong 70 point season. Clearly the injury is not a problem or on Parise's mind at all.
Parise was the hot ticket on the free agent market for several reasons, but the most important one is his consistency. Other than the year he was injured and his rookie season at 21, an average season for Parise is the following.
81.6 games played - 35.4 goals - 38.4 assists - +59 over those 5 seasons.
Clearly Zach Parise is a true hockey player. He never takes a night off, never gives in to petty injuries that might feel better after some rest, and he is always giving it all. Another great stat line to look at is how Parise has performed in the playoffs. His total numbers are 43 points in 61 games, with his best playoffs coming just last season (15 points in 24 games). Although the numbers aren't mind-boggling, they are exactly what Parise has defined himself as: persistent.
By tallying the averages you can see that Parise is just under a point-per-game player over the past 5 years (excluding the injury), so can he becoming that permanent PPG player the Wild are paying for? I do believe so. Adding 70-85 points to any team will make a huge difference in Win-Loss especially for a WIld team which seams to have most of the pieces in place. Playing on the top line lets pencil Parise down for a 40 goal and 45 assist season, something he is surely capable of. Sure, playing in his home town will bring added pressure and intensity, but a guy who never plays less than 81 games a year will welcome it. Regardless of price and city, adding a player like this will never hurt a team's chances and Minnesota fans feel the same.
Below are 3 stories on NHL Fan Gear and how Zach Parise is the man in Minnesota!
Sources are from hockey-reference.com and other google searches.