The 19-year-old phenom Teuvo Teravainen (Tay-vo Tara-vine-in) looks to be the next rising star for the Chicago Blackhawks, but what does he bring to the table?
Teravainen was drafted 18th overall by the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2012 NHL entry draft. The Finnish phenom slipped to the Blackhawks and is looking to be the long-term second line center for the Hawks. With the addition this summer of Brad Richards, the Helsinki native now has more time to tune up his skills and be ready for the 2015-2016 campaign.
Teravainen spent three seasons with Jokerit Helsinki, a hockey club part of the Finnish Liiga. Teravainen netted 33 goals along with 93 points in that three-year span. Those 33 goals don’t really seem to stand out much, but Teravainen’s skills as a playmaker are impeccable. The way Teravainen finds his teammates and executes tape to tape passes is unreal. Not to mention his hands aren’t too bad either. From what I’ve seen, Teravainen’s shot isn’t exactly a heat seeking missle, but he makes up for it by using a lot of stick moves to make the goalie look like a fool. Does that remind you of anyone?
In his debut last year against the Dallas Stars, Teravainen won all of his seven faceoffs. The Hawks have had their woes when it comes to the dot, so having a guy that can consistently win faceoffs is just what the doctor ordered. He was paired up for nearly twelve minutes on the ice with Ben Smith and Brandon Saad as his line mates.
Teravainen suited up three times for the Hawks last season where his play definitely was not shown by his stats. In those three games, the Fin had goose eggs down the line when it came to goals, assists, plus/minus, and points. The stats do not show however, the impact of what his game brings to the Hawks. He showed a lot of heart in those three games and did what he needed to do to benefit the team.
Teravainen seemed to find his bearings more when he was designated to the Hawks’ AHL affiliate, the Rockford Ice Hogs. The rising star netted two goals for Rockford in five games. Teravainen ended his short stint in the Ice Hogs’ 2013-2014 season with 2 points and a plus/minus rating of +2.
Teuvo Teravainen is the next big thing for the Chicago Blackhawks. In his first season or two he will have his growing pains just like everyone else. Teravainen has proven that he is a solid player that fits in well with the Hawks’ style of play. Any questions about if he is ready to play will have to be put on the back burner for a while as all-star veteran center Brad Richards buys him some time. Is he expected to be the savior of the franchise? No, not at all. Knowing that should help Teravainen breathe a little easier, but not too easy because he is still looking to be a centerpiece in the Windy City.