TSN’s Bob Mckenzie has suggested that Teravainen will most likely slot in at center between Ben Smith and Brandon Saad, about as good a set of wingers he could have hoped for in light of Chicago’s recent slew of injuries at the forward position. The idea of giving Teravainen the injured Patrick Kane‘s power play minutes has also been floated around and seems probable to occur on Tuesday.
The hype train has been at full steam in recent weeks for the Finnish prospect selected by the Blackhawks 18th overall in 2012. Fans and media alike were only further excited by the fact that Teravainen plays center, by far Chicago’s weakest position; after Jonathan Toews, the team’s depth down the middle is conspicuously below par.
For this reason, Teravainen will be given every opportunity to succeed. The Blackhawks have been playing far below their ability for months and could certainly use a new face around the United Center. Michal Handzus, the second line center experiment that failed, has occupied the position for far too long; a change is sorely needed, and Teravainen could prove to be an exceptionally positive one.
Still, there is a learning curve to take into account here. Teravainen is an undersized rookie with no NHL or “small ice” experience, and he will need to adjust his game on the fly to be an immediately impactful presence for the Blackhawks.
Tempered expectations constitute the most realistic and sensible stance on this issue, but some on-ice fireworks would be a welcome sight in Chicago on Tuesday night.
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