NHL Chicago Blackhawks

Teuvo Teravainen Impressive In Chicago Blackhawks Debut

Teuvo Teravainen Chicago Blackhawks

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Forward Teuvo Teravainen made his long-awaited North American debut for the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday night in a 4-2 win against the Dallas Stars.

Teravainen was a noticeable presence at both ends of the ice, breaking up a number of scoring opportunities for the Stars and making a few great passes in the offensive zone. His hands were on display from the beginning of the game, and he is clearly Chicago’s best option to center the second line for the rest of this season. Whether that actually happens, however, will remain up for debate even if Teravainen continues to impress.

The Finnish rookie is a good fit between Brandon Saad and Ben Smith. Those two are at their best down low in the offensive zone on the forecheck and in the cycle game, which in turn allows Teravainen to hang back and focus on staying in a defensively responsible position (the so-called “third man high”) — something Joel Quenneville stresses for young players.

Quenneville was evidently holding the reins back on Teravainen on Tuesday night, giving him less minutes than all of Chicago’s forwards other than Peter Regin. The ice time will come as Teravainen gets further acclimated to the NHL‘s physical style and as Quenneville grows to trust him more in close-game situations.

Overall, the young prospect put forth about as promising a performance as could have been reasonably expected. The future is bright.

Sean Sarcu is a Chicago Blackhawks writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter or add him to your network on Google.