Zach Parise was picked up by the New Jersey Devils in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft as the 17th overall pick. Before Zach Parise became our pro, he played two seasons for the University of North Dakota. He signed a contract in 2004, spent a year playing for the Albany River Rats in the American Hockey League before joining the Devils in 2005. Parise made his first NHL appearance against the Pittsburgh Penguins on October 5th, 2005. That night he scored his first NHL goal and got his first assist, becoming the 12th Devil to score a goal in his first game. In his first season he scored 18 goals and had 40 assists. The next season, he set a franchise record for scoring the quickest season-opening goal, scoring 26 seconds into the game.
Parise’s points kept growing. In 2007-08 he lead the Devils with 65 points. It was that same season that he got his first NHL hat trick. Zach played in the 2008-09 NHL All Star Game, was chosen as one of three nominees for the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy and was named the Devils MVP. In 2009 he was named an alternate captain, along with finishing 5th in the league for goal scoring.
Some of Parise’s international appearances include a 2002 IIHF World U18 Championship where he played for the USA and received a gold medal. In 2003 and 2004, he played in the World Junior Championships, finishing 4th in 2003 but winning gold in 2004 along with being named MVP. He also played in the 2010 Olympics, picking up a silver medal.
In November of 2010, Parise tore the meniscus in his right knee, leaving him out for the majority of the season.
I want to wish Zach a happy 27th birthday and many more with him as a Devil. I recently picked up a really cool picture with Zach Parise that I plan on getting autographed soon.
|2010-2011 Season Stats|
Before Ilya Kovalchuk was the Atlanta Thrashers’ number one pick in 2001, he played two seasons in Russia for HC Spartak Moscow. When his NHL career began he was nominated for the Calder Memorial Trophy as league rookie-of-the-year. He has since then made three NHL All-Star appearances and won the Rocket Richard Trophy as the league’s leading goal scorer in 2004.
Kovalchuk was traded to the New Jersey Devils in February of 2010 after eight seasons with the Thrashers. After multiple contract offers and some controversial deals, Kovalchuk signed a 15 year, $100 million contract with the Devils.
After a slow first half of the season, Kovalchuk started to get back on his game and lit up. He had multiple streaks throughout the season and plenty of game winning goals (9 to be exact, 50 in his entire career). It was against the Leafs that he scored a game winning goal to give coach Jacques Lemaire his 600th win. In April of 2011, Kovalchuk played his 700th career game (again, against the Maple Leafs!) and got his 700th point on the same night.
He finished his first full season with the Devils with 31 goals and 29 assists for 60 points.
Kovalchuk has played in several IIHF World Championships, the World Cup and the Winter Olympics collecting a few gold, silver and bronze medals since 2001. Playing for Team Russia in this year’s IIHF World Championship sent him home with another silver medal.
We love having him on our team and look forward to watching him keep playing in red. I like to call him Goalvalchuk, what’s your nickname of choice?
|2010-2011 Season Stats|
Before Anssi Salmela made it to the NHL, his career started in 2003 playing in Finland. He jumped from team to team and picked up a couple of medals along the way. Anssi received a Bronze World Junior Championship medal in 2004 and a Bronze in the World Championship in 2008. We’re proud to say that Anssi played on Team Finland in this year’s IIHF World Championship and took home Gold!
The Devils signed Anssi in 2008 to a one year contract but didn’t spend too much time with us. He was traded to the Thrashers in 2009 and got him back in February of 2010 in the Kovy trade. He was re-acquired on February 5th, on February 8th he scored against the Flyers.
His first goal of the 2010-2011 season happened to be the game winning goal in overtime to get the Devils a 3-2 win over the Islanders in March. While he isn’t a top scorer, I’d say he’s pretty clutch in going against our rivals and that’s enough for me.
He’s just getting started as a Devil and I see a great career ahead. I’m an Anssi fan, are you?
|2010-2011 Season Stats|
What do you think about Salmela and his career as a Devil? Let us know by leaving a comment!
Congrats to Team USA on securing their spot in the next round of the IIHF World Championship with a 4-2 win over Norway! Our very own Nick Palmieri had the game-tying and game-winning goals to help bring USA out from under their 0-2 deficit and into the second round.
Palmieri had 8 goals this past season with the Devils and is one of our upcoming star rookies, so I’m not surprised to see him doing well in the World Championship.
The Czech Republic have also advanced to the second round with a 6-0 win over Denmark with the help of Patrick Elias with an assist.