The St. Louis Blues know they have a potentially special defenseman in Colton Parayko. The problem is that he struggles to get all aspects of the game to click at once.
The St. Louis Blues know they have an issue with Colton Parayko at the moment. They’ve invested a lot of confidence in him over the last three seasons. While he has rewarded them with consistency, he has failed to hit his potential yet.
The problem with Parayko is not a lack of effort. His issue is that we see moments that cause us to expect so much more. Part of that is a fan issue, but he needs to get to a point where he can put it all together.
This idea springs back to the forefront with Parayko, once again, showing how hard a shot he has. He unleashed a few one timers in the 2018 IIHF World Championships. Parayko also reminded us how much power he can put behind those shots.
For us Americans, that 168 km/hr measures out to approximately 104 miles per hour. That’s harder than Al MacInnis ever officially shot in an All-Star Game. It’s just behind the longtime record of Al Iafrate too (105.2). Zdeno Chara holds the current record at just over 108.
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In addition to the skills competition, Parayko also scored four goals in the tournament and had 8 points in a short span. Both of those things, the goals and the hard shot, reminded us that he’s capable of so much more offensively.
It cannot be said that Parayko is not currently consistent. In his first three seasons he’s had 33, 35 and 35 points. His goal totals have gone up and down with nine, four and six. He has shown that he can do more though.
Tournament play is quite different than league play. However, scoring four goals in 10 games shows that he’s capable of more. At the very least, we should expect double-digit goals from Parayko.
We also need to expect that shot to be unleashed more. It was a decent excuse when his stick was consistently breaking in his rookie year. We have not seen a broken stick lately, but the fear is still there for Parayko.
Though he is still very young, we have reached the point in his career where we don’t even need him to be MacInnis. We simply need him to be the best Parayko we can get.
That involves being an offensive force from the point, both at even strength and the power play. He had just two power play goals in 2017-18. The does not cut it.
The skills are there. We have statistical proof of the shot speed. He has shown flashes of top-notch skating and footwork, especially for a big man.
He has to find his next level though. We thought he would be a top line defender, or at least close. He’s getting too comfortable in his second or even third line role and the Blues cannot have that.
If he is incapable of getting it out of himself, then Mike Yeo or a future coach has to pull it out of there. Parayko is too good and capable of too much for us to settle for less.