Colton Parayko will join the Canadian team for the IIHF World Championships.
With the St. Louis Blues having been eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Sunday, several players are joining other teams to get a little bit more game action before heading home for the summer. Three of the Blues’ youngest players joined the AHL Chicago Wolves Monday to help with that team’s playoff push, and now defenseman Colton Parayko will join Team Canada for the IIHF World Championships, which are already underway in Western Europe.
He’ll join a Canadian squad that doesn’t even come close to the talent level that some other Canadian international teams have featured, but has still gotten ahead to a 3-0 record during the tournament’s opening round. While San Jose Sharks blueliner Marc-Edouard Vlasic is pretty clearly the most talented defenseman on the roster, there’s a strong case to be made that Parayko will be the next-best.
Parayko’s participation in the World Championships will extend a 20-month run which has featured almost no breaks from high-level competition. After winning a job on the Blues’ NHL roster by playing in every possible preseason game in the fall of 2015, Parayko played in 79 regular season games and all 20 playoff games as a rookie. In September, he played for Team North America at the World Cup of Hockey, suiting up in three games while collecting three assists and a plus-3 rating.
He returned to the Blues for the later part of training camp, playing in four preseason games and then suiting up for 81 regular season games and all 11 postseason contests. Now, with Canada always a favorite to win international tournaments and this one scheduled to go until May 21, Parayko could potentially end up playing in over 200 games over a 20-month period.