The student has graduated to a bigger role. St. Louis Blues defenseman Colton Parayko, in his third NHL season, has seen his minutes increase to 22:39 per game this season, second most on the team behind captain Alex Pietrangelo (25:24). During his rookie season in 2015-16, Parayko played 79 games, averaging 19:23 of ice time per game. Last season in 81 games, that jumped to 21:11 per game and the mentorship from Pietrangelo and veteran Jay Bouwmeester clearly led to better grades and more trust. "It's been awesome, playing with a good 'D' corps," Parayko said. "I think it's something that, when I was coming in as a rookie two years ago, was really good for me. It's a very strong defense and having players around me that were leaders, I've been able to grow from that. "I've learned a ton of different things from them so credit to them for putting me under their wing and allowing me to kind of do my thing. They've continued to show me the way and help me build my game." Parayko and the Blues host the Pittsburgh Penguins in NHL on NBC's Game of the Week at Scottrade Center on Sunday (12 p.m. ET; NBC, TVAS, NHL.TV). Parayko, the 24-year-old from St. Albert, Alberta, said his bigger role will never diminish his desire to continue learning.