2015 Arch Awards: Who was St. Louis’s Rising Star in 2015?

3 of 6

Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Colton Parayko, D, St. Louis Blues

If we’re basing this choice on how much a player’s status has risen during 2015, there’s no doubt that Parayko is the most deserving candidate. When the year began, Parayko was playing to very little fanfare as a rather unknown prospect at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. Fast forward to December, and Parayko’s in the NHL, not only surviving but thriving, ranking eighth in the entire league for goals by a defenseman (5) and trailing only the New York Rangers’ Ryan McDonagh in plus-minus rating among defensemen (+12).

Other than his intimidating on-ice presence at 6-foot-6 and 226 pounds and his superior offensive skill, Parayko is also surprisingly polished as a defender. He moves around the ice very well for a player of his size and is arguably the Blues’ most adept defender in front of his own net. If he keeps up the level of performance he’s displayed thus far as a rookie, Parayko has a chance to be a perennial All-Star, especially as he’s given more minutes with increased experience.

Next: Piscotty and Meatballs