Parise signs with Devils
GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Getting back to the NCAA Tournament just got a whole lot tougher for Dean Blais and the Sioux. The New Jersey Devils announced Monday that former University of North Dakota forward Zach Parise has signed a professional contra...
GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Getting back to the NCAA Tournament just got a whole lot tougher for Dean Blais and the Sioux.
The New Jersey Devils announced Monday that former University of North Dakota forward Zach Parise has signed a professional contract with the Devils on Monday and will play in their game tonight against the New York Rangers.
The deal is reportedly a three-year contract worth between $3.5 and $4 million. He will be available to play for New Jersey in this year's NHL playoffs, beginning April 7.
"Zach Parise has been one of the top collegiate players in the country over the past two seasons, as well as one of the top players in the past two World Junior tournaments," said Devils' President/General Manager Lou Lamoriello in a press release.
"He is the type of player who is as good defensively as he is offensively. We look forward to him joining the New Jersey Devils organization."
Signing a pro contract means that Parise, a Hobey Baker finalist this season, will forgo his final two years of eligibility at UND.
The 5-foot-11 forward scored 55 points in 37 games this season, finishing third in the nation in total points. He was the third-fastest player in Sioux history to score 100 points in his career.
"As a program, this is a notch in our belt. We recruit guys that play pro hockey and that's the chance you take," junior captain Andy Schneider said. "We're all really happy for him, but he's going to be tough to replace."
New Jersey traded up to take the Shattuck-St. Mary's product with the 17th overall selection in the NHL Entry Draft last June. This January, he was selected as the MVP at the World Juniors Tournament in Finland, leading the United States to a gold medal.
With Parise centering UND's top line, the Sioux reached back-to-back NCAA Tournaments the past two seasons, but could not advance to the Frozen Four.
Denver University defeated the Sioux in the West Region final, 1-0 in Colorado Springs, Colo. Saturday night.
Parise's father, J.P., played 11 seasons in the NHL for five different organizations, while his older brother Jordan, just completed his freshman season with the Sioux.
Attempts to contact Parise Monday were unsuccessful.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Mike Cummings at (701) 241-5549