It was the right choice. We didn't know who would actually win the New York Islanders 2022 Bob Nystrom award, but there was, again, a clear choice. Zach Parise.
The fans clearly wanted to give it to Zach Parise. Just look at all the replies for Parise from fans when the voting was opened at the end of May. There were other votes for other players, but Parise was the clear runaway favorite.
New York Islanders hand 2022 Bob Nystrom award to Zach Parise
Thinking of the award, given to the player who personifies leadership, hustle, and dedication. Parise, was the perfect mix of all three this season.
Leadership; he didn't wear a letter, but his age and experience in the league meant he was cast in a position of leadership as someone who others on the team looked up to. He wasn't the "rah-rah" type of leader, getting his teammates into the game with a speech. He let his game do the talking.
Hustle; And that game of his, was relentless forechecking, endless effort, constantly pushing the game forward for the Islanders. His game was pure hustle. Something he did all year long. It didn't really result in top-end production, but what team doesn't want 15 goals and 35 points from a third-line player making the league minimum?
Dedication; Parise had a number of opportunities to tap out on the year. Just about everything went wrong for the Islanders this year. But Parise never gave up. Heck, even when the trade deadline came about he said "keep me around please". And keep him around they did. He was all in and dedicated from day 1.
Parise is a worthy recipient of the Nystrom award. He exemplified all three of the qualities the award is supposed to recognize. It was the right call to give him this award. Congrats Zach Parise, you earned this.