St. Louis Blues defenseman Colton Parayko enters his third NHL season with one focus. "To make us a better team," he said following an informal skate at the Blues practice facility Wednesday. Parayko, 24, had 35 points (four goals, 31 assists) in 81 games last season, and avoided an arbitration hearing when he signed a five-year, $27.5 million contract ($5.5 million average annual value) July 20. "Having [forward Jaden] Schwartz signed with some term and [forward Vladimir] Tarasenko and [goaltender] Jake Allen and to have [Parayko] under some term, he'll be a part of a core group of guys that we can continue to grow with," Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said. With the new contract, there will be more responsibilities, but Parayko is looking forward to them. That could include an increase in ice time from the 21:11 he averaged per game last season. "I obviously want to come and be a better player and be a big part of it," Parayko said. "But at the same time, I don't want to get outside of my game and try to do things that aren't part of me. You've just got to find a medium that's going to make the team better and also make you efficient. "The main goal is to obviously have the best team and hopefully I can help solidify that and just kind of do my job and make it easy for others. I obviously don't want to get out of my element and get out of things I do best. I've got to focus on doing those and try to do that every single night, obviously [be] more consistent and make sure I continue to play good." At 6-foot-6, 226 pounds, Parayko skates well and has a big shot from the right point. He was a frequent partner with Joel Edmundson for most of last season, and it's likely they'll stay together and give the Blues a solid top-four along with Jay Bouwmeester and Alex Pietrangelo this season.
Parayko ready for increased responsibility with Blues
NHL.com | Aug 25