ST Louis Blues If the Blues handed out a comeback player of the year award, Colton Parayko would be a strong contender.

The defenseman, who is still one of the Blues' younger players but is definitely a veteran after seven seasons in the NHL

did not have a strong season in 2020-21. Parayko was not at his best due to back problems that limited him to only 32 games

His ice time decreased for the first time in his career. Parayko  responded admirably in 2021-22 after an offseason of

rest and recovery establishing himself as the Blues' finest shutdown defenseman. Last year, with everything that

was going on, I thought it was really tough," he stated last week. I felt a lot better even just heading into this year, which

was wonderful. I was still in a great mood. And I thought it was certainly a tremendous step forward for me personally from

the prior year, simply based on everything that was going on, and I was obviously thrilled to be where I am now

Throughout the year, I was in a good mood. It's just tiny things here  and there, but I suppose everyone gets

aching backs or anything even in a typical season. But with an 82-game season it's nothing new, and it's held

up admirably. From a purely defensive sense, Parayko is the best option.  was the Blues' best defenseman, a fact