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Hawks prospect Teuvo Teravainen draws comparisons to Patrick Kane

2012 NHL Entry Draft - Round One

2012 NHL Entry Draft - Round One

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Updated: October 15, 2013 7:30AM

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Teuvo Teravainen was a winger last year. He’ll be a center this year. But it really doesn’t matter.

“I just need the puck,” Teravainen said.

And once he gets it, you can see why. The undersized, unassuming Finn plays big and loud on the ice, drawing comparisons to Patrick Kane with his dazzling offensive ability. The Hawks’ first-round pick in 2012 (18th overall) is almost certainly headed back to Finland for another year of seasoning. But just two days into training camp, the 5-11, 165-pounder showed just why the Hawks are so high on him.

“I liked him,” coach Joel Quenneville said Friday after Teravainen scored on a penalty shot during the first day of scrimmages at Notre Dame. “He wants the puck in the middle of the ice, and you notice him. Playing with him, you’ve got to be sharp and ready because the puck’s going to be on your stick quicker than you think. . . . The quickness with his hands is special.”

Teravainen had 13 goals and 18 assists in 44 games last year for Jokerit in Finland, even after playing half the season against many locked-out NHL players. He also had five goals and seven assists in six games at the World Juniors.

Kane went up against Teravainen, 19, in the first scrimmage of the day and was impressed.

“I hear there’s a lot of similarities [with me] . . . everything I hear is really good things about him,” Kane said. “So he’s a guy you can look forward to playing with in the future and being part of our team. Even though he’s a young kid and probably hasn’t matured as much as he can, he’s got a lot of skill and a lot of talent.”

Quenneville said there’s no set plan for Teravainen, but the most tantalizing prospect in the Hawks’ system likely will have to wait another year to get his shot.

“I’ll just go play big minutes in Finland with Jokerit and get stronger,” he said. “Get better every day, and I think maybe next year I’m ready.”

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