Whenever Kings GM Dean Lombardi is speaking to a group of people, there are usually a few memorable quotes.
HockeyFest in September was no exception. He got the attention of quite a few people by claiming “Scott Parse is near the top three on the team in terms of skill.”
When coach Terry Murray later announced that Parse would start the season on the second line along side Jarret Stoll and Justin Williams, people could see what the two were working – even if they didn’t necessarily agree.
And now, things are about to kick into high gear here for Parse. After sitting out the first month of the season with an injury, he’ll return to the line-up tonight against the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning…however, he’ll be on the top line with Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown.
Looking back to October 24th of last year when Parse made his NHL debut, here are 10 Tidbits on the highly-skilled-still-has-a-lot-to-prove left winger…
* In his only previous game vs. the Lightning (November 14, 2009 at Tampa Bay), he just over five minutes of ice time – recording zeroes in the points, shots and penalty minutes columns.
* Was selected by the Kings in the sixth round of the 2004 NHL Draft. It wasn’t a fruitful draft for LA, with guys like Lauri Tukonen, Paul Baier and Ned Lukacevic being taken ahead of him. The lone highlight of the 2004 class to date was the brief stint of goalie Fukufuji a few years ago. Not exactly a key moment in franchise history. Parse is the last great hope for the gang of ’04.
* Was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan – a city that actually doesn’t even have a zoo. It is however the birthplace of the Gibson Guitar Corporation (est. 1902).
* Had a stellar college hockey career at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, a school you don’t want to confuse with the more famous University of Nebraska-Lincoln (home of the Cornhuskers). Highlights include: In four years he racked up a school record 197 points (79g, 118a) in just 159 games…lead the team in scoring all four seasons…set the school record for rookie scoring with 35 points (16 goals, 19 assists) while playing in all 39 games…one of 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker award his Junior year…led his team to the Frozen Four tournament for the first time in team history.
* When he couldn’t reach a contract agreement with the Kings in the Spring of 2007 he signed with Grand Rapids of the AHL. Played the final 10 games of the season and a handful of playoff games for them. Tallied an assist in his debut, technically his first point as a professional.
* Appeared in only 32 games total in 2007-08 due to a back injury, splitting time between Manchester (AHL) and Reading (ECHL). In his 14 games with the Monarchs, had a plus or even rating in 13 of the 14.
* 2008-09: Recorded 39 points with the Monarchs (15g, 24a) in 74 games. His plus-6 rating was good enough for second on the team. In January 2009 he was voted the player of the month by the Manchester Monarchs Booster Club. For his efforts, the MMBC awarded him a $25 gift certificate to the Wild Rover Pub. Not sure if Scott spent it on food or drink. However, that fine establishment’s website boasts that the pictures of their new bar “can’t do it justice…come see it in person!” The place must be good, the Boston Globe named it one of New England’s best Irish Pubs. Don’t look now, but they’re also on twitter!
* Prior to his call-up last year he had been playing on a line with fellow Kings prospects Andrei Loktionov and Oscar Moller. At the time of the call-up was leading the AHL in assists and +/- and was second overall in points.
* Both in college and with the Monarchs wore sweater #23. Some guy named Brown wears that in LA, so he wore #63 last season. Tonight will mark his first game as #21.
* Scouting Report – the general book on Parse has him pegged as a depth forward in the NHL…most commonly read phrases are play maker, will drive to the net, plays with passion, great hand-eye coordination, two-way player.
Obviously, Lombardi and Murray may disagree with that last point.
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image courtesy of unomaha.edu