2009-10: Colton Parayko skated for the St. Albert Crusaders in the Northern Alberta Midget (AA) Hockey League. In 33 regular season games he scored 5 goals with 8 assists and had 10 penalty minutes. The Crusaders finished second in the league and reached the playoff finals against the KC Colts.
2010-11: Parayko made the jump from midget AA to Junior A hockey – skating for the Fort McMurray Oil Barons in the Alberta Junior Hockey League. Parayko played in 42 of 60 games for the Oil Barons; scoring 3 goals with 9 assists and accumulating 12 penalty minutes. The Oil Barons finished second in the North Division and reached the North Division finals against Spruce Grove. In 12 playoff games Parayko scored 2 goals with 1 assist and had 2 penalty minutes.
2011-12: Parayko was the second-leading scorer among Fort McMurray defensemen and represented Canada West in the 2011 World Junior A Challenge. Fort McMurray played in the World Junior Club tournament in Russia prior to the season and in three games Parayko was plus-3 with 2 assists. In 53 regular season games he scored 9 goals with 33 assists and had 65 penalty minutes. Fort McMurray finished second in the North Division and reached the AJHL finals. In 21 playoff games Parayko scored 3 goals with 9 assists and had 14 penalty minutes. Parayko played all five games for gold medal-winning Canada West at the WJAC championship and had no points with 2 penalty minutes. He committed to playing college hockey at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks in 2012-13. Not among the 210 North American skaters in Central Scouting’s final rankings prior to the 2012 NHL Draft, he was selected by St. Louis in the third round (86th overall) in his second year of draft eligibility.
2012-13:Parayko played in 33 of 37 games for the University of Alaska as a freshman. Sharing the points lead for Nanooks defensemen with Michael Quinn and Trevor Campbell (17 points each), he scored 4 goals with 13 assists and was -3 with 13 penalty minutes. Alaska finished sixth and lost to Michigan State in a three game first round series in the final season of the CCHA.
Parayko is a big, physical defensive defenseman that has solid positioning, makes a good first pass and breaks up plays with his long reach. He has some offensive skills, a good transition game and possesses a hard point shot. The big blueliner needs to improve his overall skating; his reverse pivoting, stride extension and stronger balance to make it to the NHL level. He has the right attitude, work ethic and consistently works to improve his overall game. The raw talent has the potential to be a top-four defenseman with some offensive upside.
Parayko had a solid rookie season with the University of Alaska-Fairbanks and will continue to improve his game at the NCAA level. He has the skill and work ethic to become a top-four defensive defenseman at the pro level.