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Published March 25, 2013, 09:21 PM

Zach Parise is leading the way for the Wild

Minnesota (WDAY TV) -- When the Minnesota Wild signed Zach Parise last summer, they were hoping the Minneapolis native would make them a serious playoff threat.

By: Jody Norstedt, WDAY

Minnesota (WDAY TV) -- When the Minnesota Wild signed Zach Parise last summer, they were hoping the Minneapolis native would make them a serious playoff threat.

The UND product hasn't disappointed, he has the Wild in first place in the division.

"It's a lot of excitement. It's been really fun! You sell out every game. Just going around town, there's a lot of support. It has been a great experience so far."

An experience he'll never forget, less than a year ago Zach Parise was leading New Jersey on a run to the Stanley Cup finals. And ever since that season ended, Parise's life has been, defined by the word...wild.

Going back to playing in the finals, then free agency, then coming here,

and then the lockout. There has been a lot going on.

"I try to stay in the present right now, we're playing really well as a team."

Parise is fitting in well back home, He leads the team with 12 goals,

but the captain has also been instrumental in molding a team full of new faces into a division leader.

"It was a little bit of a challenge at times, early in the season. We were trying to find some consistency with our lines. We were trying to just get everyone comfortable playing together because we have some young players here. We're playing with a lot of confidence and it shows. We're playing at such a consistent level every night, and we're becoming a pretty tough team to beat."

Surprised at the impact of the young players on the team's success

this season?

"There's a few players, without naming names that have surprised me big time. They're pretty young and their having some really big impacts."

"We're playing really well earlier than I expected. I knew we had a young team, you just don't know how that will turn out. But, we've taken a lot of steps in this short season to becoming a really good team. Now we have to finish strong and get into the playoffs."

And perhaps end Minnesota's decade long drought of a playoff series win.

In St. Paul,

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