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Parayko signs five-year contract with Blues

Defenseman avoids arbitration, gets $5.5 million per season

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Defenseman Colton Parayko signed a five-year contract with the St. Louis Blues on Thursday with an average annual value of $5.5 million.

"I'm beyond excited to reach a new long-term deal to stay in St. Louis," Parayko, 24, told the Blues website. "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. Playing in St. Louis, in front of all those fans who support us on and off the ice - there's no better place to be."

Parayko had an NHL career-high 35 points (four goals, 31 assists) in 81 games with the Blues last season and five points (two goals, three assists) in 11 Stanley Cup Playoff games. He made the All-Rookie Team in 2015-16, when he scored 33 points (nine goals, 24 assists) and was plus-28 in 79 games with St. Louis.

"We're obviously pleased to have Colton signed up for five years," general manager Doug Armstrong said. "We think that he's just starting to scratch the surface on what he's becoming in this League. He's got two years now of service where he understands the commitment necessary, he understands the league, he understands the players. We just think he has a really strong upside and we're excited to have him for the next five years."

Video: The guys discuss Colton's contract extension

Parayko, who was a restricted free agent, was scheduled to have a salary arbitration hearing with the Blues on Thursday.

Selected by the Blues in the third round (No. 86) of the 2012 NHL Draft, Parayko has 68 points (13 goals, 55 assists) and is a plus-35 in 160 games.

"Our defense has always been one of our strengths," Armstrong said. "When you get a third-round pick that burst onto the scene like Colton did a couple years ago, it really opened up different avenues. We're really excited to have him a part of our group."

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