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Colton Parayko has already come out to say that he is ready to become the Blues number one defenseman, and Alex Pietrangelo couldn’t agree more.

"I think he's already an elite player, but I think with more opportunity and knowing he's the guy on the back end, he's going to be the guy, the leader of the back end," said Pietrangelo, who signed with the Vegas Golden Knights this offseason. "I think he's going to thrive in that position."

It seems that the 27 years old defenseman is ready to take the next step on the ladder to become the Blues’ top guy on the backend.

"I'm excited if that's how it goes and I'm looking forward to the challenge," Parayko said. "If it calls for different scenarios, more ice time, great. I'm looking forward to it."

The St. Albert native has showcased his abilities to grow into a top pairing d-man, as he averaged 23:00 minutes of ice time per game last season, which was second to only Pietrangelo on the team.

Parayko will likely slot in on the top pairing with Torey Krug, who signed a 7-year, $45 million contract with the Blues during the offseason.

The plethora of confidence by Parayko is a huge step in order for him to replace Pietrangelo, and continue playing at an elite level against other teams' top players.

"I think watching him continue to get better and the things I tell him is he can play with that confidence," Pietrangelo said. "I don't want to say arrogance, but a form of arrogance where he's got to trust his abilities to make the plays I know he can make and I've seen him make on a consistent basis because he's got all the tools with the hockey sense and the intangibles of skating, the skill to do all those things. "It's just trusting his ability on a consistent basis to do that, but everybody knows what a world-class player he is. It's just for him, trusting his ability night in and night out."
NOVEMBER 25, 2020  (14H25)