Islanders: A deep look at left wing depth
I don’t know for certain that Zach Parise will be an Islander this season. But essentially every reporter seems to agree he’s already signed, so I’m going to assume that he is.
Zach Parise has had a long and successful career with the New Jersey Devils and Minnesota Wild. He has 393 career goals and 810 career points. But at age 37, how good is he right now?
You may (or may not if you’re a Wild fan) be surprised to discover that Parise had 28 goals and 61 points in 74 games in 2018-19, and 25 goals and 46 points in 69 games in 2019-20. Pretty good numbers for an old player, especially on a not-particularly-good team.
His advanced stats were also pretty good – 54.1% CF% in 2018-19 and 52.6% in 2019-20, both well above the average on Minnesota. Not bad at all.
You may have noticed that I’m not mentioning 2020-21 at all. Well… he got worse. Parise scored 7 goals and 18 points in 45 games, which isn’t bad but also isn’t as good as his previous two years. His CF% also dipped to 47.6%.
Now, of course, players have down years sometimes. But for a 37-year-old, it’s always natural to wonder whether that year was truly just a down year or the sign of a quick and irreversible decline.
But let’s not get too gloomy. 18 points in 45 games and 46.7% CF% is still not bad for a 3rd-liner, and (hopefully) he’ll be signed to a somewhat cheap, one-year contract. The Isles do have a fair amount of depth, so if Parise truly does decline, it probably won’t hurt them too much.
Parise will be a low-risk, medium-reward player for the Isles. You certainly won’t see him score 94 points as he did in 2008-09, but he could be pretty good – and if he’s not, it’s not a huge deal.