The St. Louis Blues got the last major piece of business for the summer done on Thursday and they narrowly avoided the arbitration process to get it done. Nevertheless, the Blues and defenseman Colton Parayko agreed to terms on a 5-year, $27.5 million deal, assuring that the 24-year old will be dressed in Blues colours for the foreseeable future.
The young defender stormed onto the scene in the 2016 season and followed it up with another strong campaign in the 2017 season, picking up 33 points in year one and 35 points year two. He has ranked 42nd and 44th among defensemen in scoring, in those respective seasons, meaning that he is right in the thick of hockey pool activity at the draft.
Parayko saw his overall goal total go down between seasons, but his puck movement obviously made up for the increase of pressure on him at the point, as he isn't a well-kept secret anymore. With a healthy group of forwards, plus the addition of Brayden Schenn in the off-season, the Blues do seem to be rounding out to be a solid team on paper, especially with this signing done.
|Vladimir Tarasenko||7.500||Alex Pietrangelo||6.500||Jake Allen||4.350|
|Paul Stastny||7.000||Colton Parayko||5.500||Carter Hutton||1.145|
|Alexander Steen||5.750||Jay Bouwmeester||5.400|
|Jaden Schwartz||5.350||Carl Gunnarsson||2.900|
|Brayden Schenn||5.125||Robert Bortuzzo||1.150|
|Patrik Berglund||3.850||Joel Edmundson||1.050|
|Vladimir Sobotka||3.500||Jordan Schmaltz||0.925|
The projected roster of 23 players above is resting nicely, just underneath the salary cap ceiling, leaving about $1.8 million in space, give or take some roster adjustments. The Blues have a couple more minor league restricted free agents left to tackle, but they shouldn't be too much trouble, now that the big fish is now under contract.