9 fun facts about Zach Parise
On the same date, Alexander Ovechkin made his debut with the Washington Capitals.
2. Parise became a member of the New Jersey Devils when the team drafted him 17th overall in the 2003 NHL Draft, which is considered by many to be the best Draft in NHL history.
Other players currently starring in the NHL who were drafted in 2003 are Ryan Suter, Marc-Andre Fleury, Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, Marc-Andre Fleury, Thomas Vanek, Milan Michalek, Eric Staal, Nathan Horton, Dion Phaneuf, Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, Dustin Brown and Shea Weber.
Embedded owg_slideshow: Zach Parise's career through the years
3. A slew of the star players drafted in the 2003 NHL Draft participated in the 2004 World Junior Championships, which is the annual tournament pitting national teams comprised of the best players in the world under age 20 against one another.
At the 2004 World Juniors, Parise was named the tournament MVP, leading the U.S. to its first-ever gold medals in the event.
4. Parise has always represented the U.S. in international competitions; however, his father, J.P.—short for Jean-Paul—, represented Canada and is a French Canadian who hails from Smooth Rock Falls in northern Ontario.
The reason Zach was born in the U.S. is because his father played the bulk of his 15-year NHL career with the Minnesota North Stars, which was the name of Minnesota’s NHL team from 1967-93—the North Stars have since moved to Texas and become the Dallas Stars.
Zach Parise hails from Minneapolis, Minnesota.
5. J.P. Parise’s most famous international team experience came in 1972, when he represented the Canadian team that played the Soviet Union in the famous, eight-game Summit Series, that was the first event that ever pitted Canada’s best players—from the NHL—against the Soviet national team.
In that eight-game series, Canada won, 4-3-1, in an event that is now revered in Canada on a similar level to how the “Miracle on Ice” is revered in the U.S.
6. Zach went to high school at a boarding school his father coached at about 50 miles south of Minnesota’s Twin Cities.
Other famous hockey players to have attended that high school, Shattuck-St. Mary’s, include Canadian standouts Sidney Crosby and Jonathan Toews, as well as U.S. women’s team members Monique and Jocelyne Lamoureux, Brianna Decker and Amanda Kessel.
7. For college, Parise played two seasons at the University of North Dakota.
One of Zach’s collegiate teammates was his older brother, Jordan, who was a goalie.
8. Parise’s brother, currently a professional goalie in Italy, never made it to the NHL, but once reached the New Jersey Devils’ top minor-league affiliate at the time Zach played for New Jersey.
9. Parise’s career’s most compelling link to his father’s career is that J.P. Parise played most of his career in Minnesota, while Zach left the Devils to sign with Minnesota’s new NHL team, the Wild, in July of 2012.
The Minnesota Wild have played in the NHL since the 2000-01 season.
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