Paul Stastny (born December 27, 1985) is an American professional ice hockey center and alternate captain for the Colorado Avalanche of the National Hockey League (NHL). Of Slovak lineage, Stastny is the son of Hockey Hall of Famer Peter Stastny, who played for the Avalanche's predecessor, the Quebec Nordiques. Paul's older brother Yan has played for the Boston Bruins, the Edmonton Oilers, the St. Louis Blues and the Vancouver Canucks, and his uncles Anton and Marian Stastny both played in the NHL during the 1980s, also for the Nordiques franchise.
Stastny began his junior hockey career with the River City Lancers of the United States Hockey League before moving to the University of Denver Pioneers in 2004. He won the NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Championship in his first season playing for the Pioneers. He remained at the University of Denver for one more season. He signed a contract with the Avalanche before the 2006–07 NHL season, scored 78 points in 82 games in his rookie season and was nominated for the Calder Memorial Trophy. In 2007–08 he was named to his first NHL All-Star Game, but did not play because of an appendicectomy. As a dual citizen, Stastny has chosen to play for the United States in international hockey competitions, which have included the 2004 Viking Cup, the 2007 IIHF World Championship, and the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Stastny was born in Québec City, Quebec, to Peter Šťastný and Darina Šťastná, while Peter was playing for the Nordiques. He spent his early years in Québec and in New Jersey, following his father's career. Peter joined the St. Louis Blues in 1993 and settled there after finishing his player career, working as a scout for the team. Paul attended Millard North High School in Omaha, Nebraska and graduated from Chaminade College Preparatory School in St. Louis, Missouri while playing for the River City Lancers in Council Bluffs, Iowa, just across the Missouri River. He has mentioned "religion, education and the importance of family" as important values in his upbringing. He has also spoken about his father's help in making him a better player. Being born in Canada to Slovak parents, Stastny and his brother Yan have dual citizenship of both Canada and the United States.