Nick Parody thinks hockey - a lot.
He doesn’t want a smartwatch or new phone or other such gadget for Christmas. He wants new skates.
It’s this game-first mindset that has so impressed the coaching staff at Canisius College (of Buffalo, N.Y.), and led to Parody officially making his commitment to the NCAA Division 1 institution. Canisius plays in the Atlantic Hockey Association and was a nationally-ranked top 20 team in both the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons.
“I have been in touch with Canisius for the past few years,” said Parody, a 1998-born native of Harrisburg, Pa. “Last year they gave me a few recommendations on areas where they’d like to see me improve, and I’ve been focusing on developing those aspects of my game.”
Parody went on a recent visit to Canisius and fully enjoyed the experience of being on the campus and meeting current Golden Griffins players.
“I feel like I’ve developed a good relationship with the coaching staff and while I was on my visit, I came away very impressed with all aspects of the program,” he said. “The school and facilities were top-notch, and the current players made me feel very welcome.”
Parody and the Islanders Hockey Club had a season for the ages last year, going 47-3 during the regular season and 6-1 in the playoffs en route to winning the Dineen Cup, the NCDC championship trophy.
This year, the NCDC got better around the Islanders, and they’ve gone 11-10-3 nearing the halfway mark of the season.
“It really shows the growth of the league,” Parody said. “Every team has very good players and you need to bring your A-game in order to win. Playing against that level of competition every day in games and practices has helped me develop as a player.”
Islanders general manager/head coach Sean Tremblay was very happy for the young man.
“There is nothing more rewarding than to see a player work so hard and then see him achieve the goals he set forth two years ago,” Tremblay added. “Although he was very raw, he had all the ingredients to be a phenomenal player. Size, speed, determination, and a great attitude are all intangibles we look for in players, and Nick possesses these more than most.”
Better competition certainly improves your game, and Parody feels he is playing better hockey here in 2018-19.
“I feel like I’m a much more complete player now than when I came to the Islanders last season. I’ve been focusing more on making the simple, smart plays and not over-complicating things.”
After scoring 26 points in 46 games last season, Parody has put up six points through 21 contests this year. As the Islanders try to pick up their overall game in an improved NCDC, Parody also has individual improvements he’d like to make.
“I want to become a stronger and more physical presence in the defensive zone while also continuing to develop the offensive aspects of my game,” he added.
He has a defense coach who carries a heavy resume in Chris Dyment. Dyment was the Hockey East’s Best Defensive Defenseman in 2002, a former Boston University captain, two-time All-American and a Calder Cup champion during his five-year AHL career.
“We’re lucky to have such a great coaching staff with Coach Tremblay and Coach Dyment,” said Parody. “They know what it takes to develop players and help them get to the next level. Everything we do – from the way we train and practice to the way we play – has that goal in mind.”
“It is Nick’s commitment to excellence that has allowed him to fulfill his dream of playing Division 1 hockey,” Tremblay added. “We wish him nothing but the very best during his next four years, and we will be very proud to call him one of our alumni.”