50 Greatest New Jersey Devils Players Of All Time

Former New Jersey Devils players (L-R) Martin Brodeur, Scott Niedermayer, Ken Daneyko and Scott Stevens during Patrik Elias #26 jersey retirement ceremony prior to a game against the New York Islanders at the Prudential Center on February 24, 2018 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images)"n
Former New Jersey Devils players (L-R) Martin Brodeur, Scott Niedermayer, Ken Daneyko and Scott Stevens during Patrik Elias #26 jersey retirement ceremony prior to a game against the New York Islanders at the Prudential Center on February 24, 2018 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images)"n /
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New Jersey Devils, Zach Parise
Zach Parise #9 of the New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Greatest New Jersey Devils player of all time: 10. Zach Parise

This is really talking about the difference between an amazing peak and a player’s longevity. Zach Parise barely squeaks past Travis Zajac because he was once one of the best players in the NHL. Do we all remember how good Parise was with the Devils? He had 410 points in 502 games in seven years with the Devils. He actually had more points in New Jersey than he did in Minnesota, despite playing two more seasons in his home state.

The Devils drafted Parise in the 2003 NHL Draft. Lou Lamoriello traded up with the Edmonton Oilers to take Parise, who became one of his best draft picks. It took him a couple of years to make the NHL, but when he did, he never left. He wasn’t a tweener NHLer. In his first season, he played 81 games and scored 14 goals.

Then, we saw the signs of a superstar. He had 31 goals and 31 assists in his second full season with the Devils. He matched those numbers in his third season (slightly better in goals and points), but he exploded in his fourth season. He had 94 points (tied for third all-time), lighting the lamp 45 times (also third all-time).

Even in a short amount of time, Parise is still fifth all-time in career goals and 10th all-time in points. He still holds a strong place within this franchise. He solidified his top-ten status with his run to the 2012 Stanley Cup Final. As the team’s captain, Parise led all players with eight goals in the playoffs. His line with Kovalchuk was always the best line on the ice. That was the best we’ve seen from him. Then, he was gone. It hurt like heck, but we can’t let that impact our analysis of what he was when he was here.