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Avalanche Sign Veteran Ex-First Rounder

Photo courtesy of The Rink Live.

This past week, the Colorado Avalanche signed veteran left winger Zach Parise to a one year contract that will be worth a pro-rated $825K for the rest of the season.

The Avalanche are 32-14-3 and lead the Central Division by just one point over the Dallas Stars and two points over the 3rd place Winnipeg Jets. 

Parise, 39, is not the sniper or the offensive player he once was, but he will add an able body to Colorado’s bottom six. The Avalanche lost forward Valeri Nichushkin to the NHLPA Player Assistance Program, and have no idea when or if he will be back in the lineup. 

Parise has played 1,224 games in the NHL and has been productive throughout his career. He has 429 goals and 450 assists, with his best season coming in the 2008-2009 season when he totaled 45 goals and 49 assists, for 94 points for the New Jersey Devils. He was drafted 17th overall in the 2003 NHL Draft by the New Jersey Devils. He played 7 seasons in New Jersey before signing a 13-year free agent contract with the Minnesota Wild in 2012. After some injury-riddled seasons, the Wild bought out his contract after 9 seasons.

The New York Islanders signed him to a one-year contract and he parlayed that into another year after playing in 82 games and scoring 15 goals and 20 assists. Last season, he played in all 82 games, tallying 21 goals and 13 assists. 

Parise has not played since April of 2023 and will more than likely have to be brought along slowly with the Avalanche. Signing with Colorado will give Parise a fighting chance to win his first Stanley Cup.

Parise is a hard worker who cannot be counted on to score like he used to 10-15 years ago. He has proven the past two seasons that he can stay healthy and still put up respectable numbers, especially for a bottom-six player. The 10-time 20 goal scorer will be another veteran presence on a Colorado Avalanche team that should be one of the favorites to raise Lord Stanley this summer.

Draft Nation News- First Round Pick (17th overall) New Jersey Devils 2003

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