NHL Power Rankings: Top 10 Western Conference Forwards

By Matt Barbato
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May 3, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Minnesota Wild left wing Zach Parise (11) with the puck during the second period in game two of the second round of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

8. Zach Parise 

The Minnesota Wild were one of the fastest teams in the NHL this season, and the Minnesota native Parise spearheaded the squad. There aren’t many more players as important to his team as Parise is to Minnesota. He led the team in points and his 33 goals were nine more than any other Wild player’s total. When Parise is rolling, so are the Wild.

Parise is still one of the best pure goal scorers in the game even as he turns 31 in late July. Oddly, Parise recently posted one of his worst seasons, in terms of possession, with just a 52.1 Corsi-for percentage.

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  • Unfortunately, Parise may need some help before the Wild can become serious Stanley Cup contenders. He netted four goals with six assists in the postseason, but it wasn’t enough to avoid a sweep by the Chicago Blackhawks. Parise probably could be a bit more impactful, but he hasn’t been the reason the Wild have had their season end at the hands of the Blackhawks the past three seasons.

    Unlike younger players like Schwartz and Gaudreau, the arrow is pointing down a bit for Parise. At 31, regression is looming, but Parise still may have a couple of great years left before slowing down at all.

    Next: No. 7: Ryan Getzlaf

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