NEWARK, N.J. (CP) - The New Jersey Devils have one of their best young players under contract for four more years.
The Devils re-signed winger Zach Parise to a US$12.5-million, four-year contract on Wednesday. In just his second NHL season, the 23-year-old led the Devils with 31 goals last year.
"Over the past two seasons, Zach has established himself as one of the outstanding young stars in the National Hockey League," Devils CEO Lou Lamoriello said in a statement. "We are delighted that he has re-signed a multi-year contract with us."
Parise had 62 points (31-31) in 82 games last season. He added seven goals and three assists for 10 points in 11 playoff games.
"I'm excited, it's definitely a weight off my shoulders so I don't have to worry about it and can just relax and get ready for the season," he said.
The Devils' first-round pick in the 2003 draft came on strong after finishing his rookie season with 18 goals and 14 assists.
"I'm hoping to take on more responsibility like I did last year and be put in different situations and opportunities," Parise said. "I'd like to take another step in gaining that respect on the ice."
New Jersey will need Parise to continue his development after losing forward Scott Gomez to the New York Rangers in free agency.
"Scott Gomez is a tough guy to replace and we're going to miss him," Parise said. "He was a great player and a great guy in the locker-room. But that's the way the game goes, you've got to move on and work with what we have. We're still going to be right there, we're still going to be competitive."