Teuvo Teräväinen is Not the Savior for the Chicago Blackhawks, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be important. In case you missed the news, Teräväinen’s team Jokerit lost their Finnish Liiga playoff series to HPK. With his team done, Teräväinen now has a clear opportunity to come to the United States to play for the Chicago Blackhawks. Hawks fans are ecstatic to say the least, but that doesn’t mean the 19-year-old is the only solution to the Hawks’ problems. If anything, he’s the last piece in a potential Stanley Cup-winning puzzle.
Teräväinen’s been written about here before, but sometimes you need more than one article about a prospect such as him. Teräväinen has been labelled the next Patrick Kane because of his skating, puck handling, playmaking, passing abilities and on-ice intelligence. But he’s also versatile and can play either center or wing. In all likelihood, however, he’ll be playing center.
Of course, there is a slight roadblock, not counting whether or not Teuvo will even come over (general manger Stan Bowman indicates he really wants Teuvo to come). That roadblock is head coach Joel Quenneville. Currently, Quenneville is indicating he’s comfortable with Michal Handzus. This is a problem. Quenneville’s stubborn preference for his older veterans has potentially hampered the development of the Hawks’ young prospects. If Teuvo does come over, he’ll have a lot to work on.
But Teräväinen is still a major piece of the puzzle. He may not be experienced in NHL playoffs and general play, but he will be surrounded by players who have the experience that will make his job easier. It’s possible he could be given an easy job of centering the fourth line (potentially moving Marcus Kruger to third line center) if Quenneville intends to stick with Handzus. But given Handzus’ inability to complement Kane, Teräväinen would be a better option.
So no, Teuvo Teräväinen is not the savior of the Blackhawks. On the other hand, given his skill, his presence could give the team a much-needed shot in the arm and more offensive firepower to make Ryan Miller quake in his goalie pads. The future is bright for this youngster. He’s proven himself before, and he can prove himself in the NHL.