The St. Louis Blues reached a five-year deal, 27.5 million deal with Colton Parayko on Thursday*to avoid arbitration.
The deal holds annual cap hit of $5.5 million, above the $4.85 million Parayko was reported to be asking for in a one-year deal in his arbitration brief. His hearing was scheduled for Thursday.
"I'm beyond excited to reach a new long-term deal to stay in St. Louis," Parayko said in a team release. "St. Louis has become my home, and this is where I want to be. I'm looking forward to the next five years and can't wait to get back on the ice in September."
The 24-year-old*has played only two years at the NHL level, but ranked third among Blues skaters in time on ice last season. He had four goals and 31 assists for 35 points in 81 games during the regular season.*The St. Albert, AB. native added two goals and three assists in 11 playoff games..*
"With Parayko and Alex (Pietrangelo), (Joel) Edmundson and (Jay Bouwmeester), our top-four is solidified," Blues general manager Doug*Armstrong said. "And I think it can compete against any top-four in the League.
"There's a saying that an NHL defenseman doesn't really define himself until about 250 or 300 games. He's around 160, so there's still some growth there, some definition going into his game, but he's got all the tools to be a very good player over time, and we're very excited to have him part of our group."
Following the playoffs, Parayko*joined Team Canada at the world hockey championship, scoring three goals and posting seven points in six games as Canada won silver.
"I think we knew we had a special player with what we saw last year," Armstrong said of Parayko's rookie season. "The World Cup of Hockey brought him more national attention…and the World Championships, he went over there and became a big player for Team Canada immediately. It shows that in his age bracket, he's one of the better players."
The 6-foot-6 defenceman was drafted in the third round (86th*overall) in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. He was also named to the 2015-16 NHL All-Rookie first team. In his rookie season Parayko scored nine goals while adding 24 assists.*
In total, he owns 13 goals and 68 points in 160 games at the NHL level.