ST. LOUIS, MO—Ukrainian-Canadian NHL defenseman Colton Parayko will remain in St. Louis for another five years. The 24 year-old closed a $27.5 million deal (approximately $5.5 million per year) with the Blues on Thursday, July 20. A new restricted free agent, he was scheduled for a salary arbitration with the team that same day.

Last season, Parayko, who is 6 feet and 6 inches tall and weighs 226 pounds, appeared in 81 games with the Blues (who selected him 86th overall at the 2012 NHL Draft). He reached a career peak in points (35—comprised of four goals and 31 assists), 32 penalty minutes, and a plus-7 rating. In 11 playoff games, he posted an additional five points (two goals and three assists) before the team was eliminated by the Nashville Predators (the Stanley Cup runner-ups) in the second round.

While earning a degree in Business Administration and playing for the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the St. Albert, Alberta-born Parayko began playing for the Chicago Wolves of the AHL in 2014-2015 season. He then commenced his professional career with St. Louis in 2015-2016. That season, when he reached 79 games with 33 points (nine goals and 24 assists) he was admitted to the All-Rookie Team.

Parayko now has a total of 160 regular-season NHL games under his belt, all with the Blues. He holds 68 points (13 goals and 55 assists), 61 penalty minutes, and a plus-35 rating. In 31 career playoff games, he collected 12 points (four goals and eight assists), a plus-7 rating, and six penalty minutes.

“I’m beyond excited to reach a new long-term deal to stay in St. Louis. 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 said in a statement.

“We’re obviously pleased to have Colton signed up for five years. 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,” said Blues General Manager Doug Armstrong.