Zach Parise was born July 28, 1984 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The first round, 17th overall selection of the New Jersey Devils in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, Parise played two seasons at Shattuck St. Mary's High School before enrolling at the University of North Dakota in the fall of 2002. Zach's Father, Jean-Paul, played 14 NHL seasons with Boston, Toronto, Minnesota, NY Islanders, and Cleveland, and represented Canada at 1972 Summit Series.
A highly offensive forward, Parise played two seasons at UND capturing numerous honours including; WCHA Third Team All-Star (2003), WCHA All-Rookie Team (2003), WCHA First All-Star Team (2004) and NCAA West First All-American Team (2004). In his two seasons of collegiate hockey, Parise registered 116 points (49-67-116) before making his professional debut in 2004-05.
Following an impressive two seasons at UND, Parise suited up for the AHL's Albany River Rats and went on to register 58 points (18-40-58) in his rookie season. A member of PlanetUSA in the AHL All-Star Game, Parise went on to make his NHL debut with New Jersey during the 2005-06 season. Over the next three seasons in New Jersey, Parise would only miss a pair of games and twice record over 30 goals. In his third season with the club Parise established new career highs with 32 goals, 33 assists for 65 points.
On the international stage, the former UND star is a two-time member of the US World Junior team (2003-2004) capturing Best Forward honours in 2004 and subsequently a gold medal for the US. He made his World Championship debut in 2007 and was welcomed back to the squad in 2008.
Parise's career would continue on the upswing. He recorded 45 goals and 94 points in 2008-09, establishing himself as a bonafide NHL scoring threat, his speed and tenacity on the puck surely his greatest weapon.
In February of 2010, Parise was part of the US Olympic team that brought home the silver medal in a thrilling overtime final at the Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver.
A knee injury limited Parise to just 13 games during the 2010-11 season. As a restricted free agent in the summer of 2011, Parise inked a one-year deal with the Devils worth a reported $6 million.
The 2011-12 season was a return to form for Parise and his Devils teammates. In the regular season, Parise reached the 30 goal mark for the 5th time in his career and in the playoffs, Zach was a key component to the Devils march to the Stanley Cup Final.
In the summer of 2012, Parise found himself an unrestricted free agent and the list of suitors for his services was a long one. On July 4, Parise announced he had signed a 13-year contract with his hometown team, the Minnesota Wild. Zach's father, J.P., was a long-time member of the Minnesota North Stars and in tribute, Zach chose to wear number 11 with the Wild, the same number that his father wore with the North Stars.