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Rosner: Why Zach Parise is the Best Bang-For-Your-Buck Player in NHL

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New York Islanders, Zach Parise
New York Islanders forward Zach Parise (Photo courtesy of New York Islanders Twitter)

There are 79 players in the NHL this season that have a salary cap hit of $750,000. New York Islanders forward Zach Parise is one of those 79 and is once again showing to be one of the best bang-for-your-buck players the NHL has to offer.

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After a miserable start to his New York Islanders career, with just one goal in 30 games during the nightmarish 2021-22 season, the then snakebitten 37-year-old Zach Parise turned his season around in the second half, with 12 goals and 10 assists in the final 42 games, ending his season with 15 goals and 20 assists. Even when the goals were not falling, Parise was integral on the penalty kill and the power play, and one of those players who never took a shift off.

He was the only Islanders player to play in all 82 games last season.

When the 2022 NHL Trade Deadline came, Parise and the Islanders agreed on a one-year, $750,000 extension.

So far this season, Parise has continued to be a swiss army knife for now-head coach Lane Lambert, but unlike last season, the points are coming early.

In 23 games, Parise has seven goals and four assists and has been a revelation.

He’s played up and down the lineup, from first-line minutes alongside Mathew Barzal to third-line minutes with Jean-Gabriel Pageau. He’s played a total of 376:31 minutes, 36:22 on the power play, and 53:42 on the penalty kill.

In Saturday’s 5-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers, Parise scored a pair of power-play goals, tying the contest at two in the second, and allowing the Islanders to gain a three-goal cushion in the third.

At 14:42 of the second period, Parise tried to finish off a Pageau pass but was stopped by Sandstrom. Then Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov elected to cross-check Parise into the Flyers’ goal before hitting him again.

That earned Provorov a two-minute penalty, and despite the Islanders not putting together a strong power play, Parise came through as he received a puck from Ryan Pulock right in front of the goal and, after a few moves, snuck one in.

And then he celebrated.

But Parise wasn’t done. He scored his second power-play goal of the contest at 11:57 of the third period as he sniped Sandstrom.

“He’s on the power play, kills penalties, [and] plays against other teams’ top lines,” Lambert said. “He’s very versatile. There’s no question about it, and I give him full marks. I thought he was one of the catalysts tonight to get us going.”

Out of the 79 players with a cap hit of $750,000, the now 38-year-old Zach Parise leads the list with 23 games played, seven goals, 13 points, and 58 shots on goal. He sits tied for fourth with four assists.

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