ST. LOUIS — If it's up to Colton Parayko, he'll never put on the sweater of any team other than the St. Louis Blues.
The 28-year-old defenseman signed an eight-year, $52 million contract extension with the Blues on Wednesday, that kicks in with the 2022-2023 season. He'll get an average of $6.5 million per season.
"This is where I wanted to be, in St. Louis. I just thought it was a good deal for both sides," Parayko said of his deal on Thursday. "The biggest thing was to stay here in St. Louis. I've always enjoyed it here and that was the main focus."
The Blues drafted Parayko with the 86th overall pick in the 2012 NHL Draft. Since then he's scored 41 goals, 130 assists and helped the Blues win their first Stanley Cup in franchise history.
He'll be 37 if he runs this deal with the Blues to its full duration. And the thought of playing his entire career in St. Louis was something that was a high priority for Parayko.
"It's not often that a player gets the opportunity to do that," Parayko said of possibly playing his entire career for one franchise. "Everything is looking like that in a right direction. So hopefully everything goes well and we continue to be good, successful and a competitive team and I can spend all my years here in St. Louis."
As for his game, Parayko said he's ready to go for the 2021-2022 season. After a back injury plagued most of his abbreviated 2020-2021 campaign, he's "ready to rock and roll" after an offseason of rest.
Going forward, Parayko has his sights set on taking his game to the next level and becoming one of the most elite defensemen in the league.
"I think it's just the small things. There's a lot of different things you can look at. I want to be a dynamic player that can help the team in all situations, whether it be special teams, power player, penalty kill and also five-on-five. I want to continue being a good shut down player but If I can add a little more offense I think that'll be huge," Parayko said. "I really like the D-corps we have. It's exciting, good group of guys. And it's exciting looking forward."