For the second consecutive year, it looks like the Chicago Blackhawks managed quite a steal in the NHL Entry Draft. In 2011, it was Brandon Saad at no. 43 overall, this year it looks like the Hawks lucked out with Teuvo Teravainen at no. 18.
In a prospect camp that features Saad and last year’s first round picks Mark McNeill & Phillip Danault, Teravainen has been the star.
Teravainen was projected to be off the board long before the Blackhawks selection at no. 18, but for whatever reason, likely his size, the Hawks lucked out and nabbed him with their first pick.
There’s no doubt Teravainen is undersized, standing 5’11″ and well under 200 pounds, but what he lacks for in size, he more than makes up for in skill, with some of the best, if not the best, hands in this year’s class.
That skill has been on display this week, with Teuvo showing off some impressive skill at the Blackhawks’ annual prospect camp. Playing mainly in the middle, Teravainen has been showcasing some slick passing and a bit of goal scoring as well.
Obviously Teuvo won’t be skating circles around NHL level talent like he is a bunch of 17 and 18 year olds at camp. But the fact that his skills appear already so polished bodes well for his future.
Teuvo Teravainen’s impressive run at camp likely won’t do much to speed up his arrival to the NHL. He’s still at least a year away, likely two. Still just 17, he still has some growing up to do, and some bulking up to do, when he heads back to Finland and rejoins Jokerit for this season.
But there’s definitely reason to be excited about this kid. If our early impressions are any indication, especially if he ends up at center on a permanent basis, the Blackhawks have found a potential star in Teuvo Teravainen.