When Finnish forward Teuvo Teravainen fell to the Chicago Blackhawks at the 18th selection of the 2012 NHL Draft, the front office and fans across the city were ecstatic. Teravainen came to the NHL after playing for Jokerit Helsinki. While in his final season with Helsinki, his goals dropped from thirteen to nine, but he greatly improved his playmaking ability registering 35 assists.
After coming to Chicago when his Finnish league ended, Teravainen was sent to the Rockford IceHogs in the AHL to gain some professional experience. With only five games total with the IceHogs, Teravainen still managed two goals with a plus/minus rating of plus-two. He did get the opportunity late in the NHL season to show what he could do with the big boys.
While Patrick Kane was on injured reserve, Teravainen played in three games. While he did not register a point, Teravainen played well, using his speed to his advantage.
He is an extremely skilled forward who has great vision on the ice and knows where his teammates will be. He possesses great speed and can beat defensemen to the outside routinely. One notable challenge that he faces is his size. At 5-foot-11, 165 pounds, he needs to bulk up a bit in order to be more of a force defensively. That being said, the Blackhawks have another forward who is a little undersized in Kane.
A comparison to Kane may be eye-opening to fans but Teravainen really does possess skills that he can improve on, and there is a real upside to what he brings to a lineup. Teravainen is one of the Blachawks’ top prospects, and fans should be excited about seeing more of him in the near future.
Teravainen played center for his team in Helsinki, which could help the Hawks as they are in need of centers. However, expect him to play on the wing as he is not ready to fill the second-line center role that the Blackhawks need to fill. If he can make it to the second or third line as a winger, he will be more successful and more productive for the Hawks.