Zach Parise deserves Islanders Bob Nystrom Award

Tampa Bay Lightning v New York Islanders
Tampa Bay Lightning v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

Every year the New York Islanders hand out the Bob Nystrom award to a player on the roster. The award is given to the player who "exemplifies leadership, hustle and dedication".

That's Zach Parise is it not? There was no one who exemplified all three of those qualities from game one through game 82. Literally. Parise was the only Islander to play in all 82 games this season.

New York Islanders Zach Parise deserved Bob Nystrom Award

The was no one more tenacious and more engaged from the second the puck dropped on the season until the final whistle than Zach Parise. I wish the NHL tracked distance traveled like they do in Finland. There's no doubt in my mind that Parse's distance traveled would far exceed just about anyone else on the team (at least on a per 60 basis).

More than his travel distance was his impact on the game. Go look at the NaturalStatTrick's data for Islanders forwards this year (filtered for 5on5 and relative) and you'll see Zach Parise sit top five in every single category.

CF% Relative: 5th
FF% Relative: 5th
GF% Relative: 5th
SCF% Relative: 5th
HDCF% Relative: 5th

Just in case you think that's normal, it isn't. Just look at how Mathew Barzal fluctuates for the same stats as Parise:

CF% Relative: 2nd
FF% Relative: 6th
GF% Relative: 7th
SCF% Relative: 4th
HDCF% Relative: 8th

There was some remarkable consistency to Zach Parise's game all year. His leadership, hustle, and determination were all why he was as impactful as he was this season. He deserves this award.

You can have your say and vote in who you think deserves the Nystrom Award here.

Sneaky Suspicion

I have a sneaky suspicion Chara will win the award for his leadership (mentoring Dobson), hustle (he averaged more ice time this year than last), and dedication (he was playing at the age of 45). I don't think those reasons should earn Chara the award. But I have a sneaky suspicion the Isles might just see it that way.

Previous Winners

The award has been handed out by the Isles since 1991 when Brent Sutter was the first recipient. Matt Martin hold a firm grip on the most Nystrom awards with six wins (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2020).