2008-09: Michael Parks attended USA Hockey’s Select 16 Development Camp and competed for the United States at the U17 Five Nations Tournament in Slovakia before returning to St. Louis to play for the Junior Blues AAA U18 team. Parks committed to playing college hockey at North Dakota in 2011-12.
2009-10: Parks skated in 51 games for Cedar Rapids in the USHL, Parks scored 11 goals with 11 assists and was +4 with 57 PMs as the RoughRiders finished second in the East Division. He had 1 assist and was -1 in five Clark Cup playoff games. Parks was also chosen to represent the USA at the U18 Ivan Hlinka Tournament. Parks was ranked 138th amongst North American skaters in Central Scouting’s final rankings and selected by the Flyers in the fifth round (149th overall) of the 2010 NHL Draft.
2010-11: Parks was the second-leading goal scorer for Cedar Rapids in his second USHL season, scoring 25 times. He also had 17 assists and was +18 with 42 PMs in 56 games as the RoughRiders finished first in the East Division. Parks had 3 goals with 1 assist and was +3 with 6 PMs in eight playoff games as Cedar Rapids reached the semifinals.
2011-12: Parks made a smooth jump from the USHL to college hockey — skating in 42 games for the University of North Dakota as a freshman. He scored 12 goals with 10 assists and was plus-five with 38 penalty minutes. The Fighting Sioux finished fourth in the WCHA during the regular season but defeated league champion Minnesota and third-place Denver on back-to-back nights to capture the league’s playoff title (Parks scored goals in both games). The Gophers returned the favor the following weekend – defeating North Dakota in the NCAA West Regional Final.
2012-13: Parks missed most of the first half after suffering a “lower body” injury in North Dakota’s exhibition game against Manitoba and skated in 25 games for the Fighting Sioux as a sophomore. He finished the year with 7 goals and 1 assist and was -4 with 2 penalty minutes. North Dakota finished third in the WCHA and received an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament after an overtime loss to Colorado College in the WCHA semifinals. The Fighting Sioux defeated Niagara before falling to eventual national champion Yale, 4-1, in the West Regional final.
2013-14: Parks was the second-leading scorer for North Dakota and was named to the NCHC second all-star team following his junior season. Trailing only Rocco Grimaldi (FLA) for the Fighting Sioux, he scored 12 goals with 18 assists and was plus-10 with 28 penalty minutes in 42 games. North Dakota finished second to St. Cloud State in the newly-formed National Collegiate Hockey Conference; losing to Miami, 3-0, in the NCHC semifinals but earning an at-large bid to the NCAA Midwest Regional with a win in the league’s third-place game. The Fighting Sioux defeated Wisconsin and Ferris State to win the regional; falling to Minnesota 2-1 in the Frozen Four semifinals on a goal in the game’s final second.
2014-15: Parks was the second-leading scorer for the University of North Dakota in his senior season, trailing only Drake Caggiula. He scored 12 goals with 20 assists and was +13 with 44 penalty minutes. The Fighting Sioux finished first in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference regular season, falling 3-1 to St. Cloud State in the NCHC semifinals and 5-1 to Denver in the third-place game. North Dakota received an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament, defeating Quinnipiac and St. Cloud State by identical 4-1 scores to capture the NCAA West Regional before falling 5-3 to Boston University in the Frozen Four semifinals.
2015-16: Parks attended training camp with Philadelphia before signing an AHL contract with Flyers’ affiliate Lehigh Valley. He skated in three games with the Phantoms, suffering a season-ending shoulder injury. Parks had 1 assist and was -1 with no penalties.
Parks is a small but stocky player that plays bigger than his size, though his offensive upside at the next level is questionable. At North Dakota, he used his speed to open up the ice and create opportunities for his teammates.
Parks attended training camp with the Philadelphia Flyers in 2015-16 before being released and signing an AHL contract with Flyers' affiliate Lehigh Valley. A shoulder injury wiped out most of his first pro season. An undersized but offensively-skilled forward who played for Flyers' head coach Dave Hakstol at the University of North Dakota, Parks has the potential to be a Stephen Gionta-type lower line forward. His injury situation is a concern.