Mark Parrish was born February 2, 1977 in Edina, Minnesota. The 3rd choice, 79th overall selection of the Colorado Avalanche in the 1996 NHL Entry Draft, Parrish is a graduate of the Jefferson Jaguars High School team where in his final year he tallied 60 points on 40 goals and 20 assists in only 27 games. Following his final at Jefferson High School, Parrish joined the WCHA's St. Cloud State Huskies in the fall of 1996.
The Edina, Minnesota native spent two seasons at St. Cloud State capturing NCAA West Second Team All-Star honors in 1997 before leaving the school to join the WHL's Seattle Thunderbirds in 1997-98.
A two-time member of the United States World Junior team in 1996 and 1997 and member of its 1998 World Championship team, Parrish played in one game with the AHL's New Haven Beast during the 1997-98 season after having his rights traded by Colorado to the Florida Panthers midway through the season.
Parrish made his NHL debut with the Panthers in 1998-99, playing in 73 games and scoring 24 goals while only playing two games with New Haven.
In 1999-00 Parrish played in all but one the Panthers 82 games improving his goal (28) and point totals (44) before being traded during the off-season to the New York Islanders.
Following the trade Parrish's numbers went down in 2000-01 before establishing career highs in goals (30) assists (30) and points (60) in 2001-02 earning an invite to the 2002 All-Star Game. Later that spring, Parrish represented his homeland at the 2001 World Championships and over the course of the next two seasons continued to be an offensive leader for the Isles.
In the spring of 2005, Parrish made his third appearance at the Worlds' and in 2006 was a member of the U.S. Olympic team. Despite his strong play with the Islanders, Parrish was dealt to the Los Angeles Kings just prior to the NHL trading deadline in hopes adding some offense to their lineup.
His stint with Kings was short lived however as Parrish was signed as a free agent by the Minnesota Wild in the off-season.