Top prospect Teravainen remains patient with Blackhawks
BY MARK LAZERUS Staff Reporter September 15, 2013 7:10PM
Hawks top pick Teuvo Teravainen is flanked by general manager Stan Bowman (left) and director of amateur scouting Mark Kelley. | Bruce Bennett~Getty Images
Updated: September 17, 2013 1:38AM
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Teuvo Teravainen thinks he has the skills to play in the NHL right now. So does Patrick Kane. So does Joel Quenneville. But with a roster loaded with scorers, the Blackhawks can afford to be patient.
So despite the flashes of dazzling brilliance the 19-year-old Finn has shown at training camp, Teravainen is headed back home for another year of seasoning. Quenneville said Sunday that Teravainen will play in the first two or three preseason games this week, but will then be shipped back to Jokerit.
“I think we’re going to send him back and he’ll play over there, but it’s nice knowing we have a real nice piece coming,” Quenneville said on the final day of the Hawks’ stay at Notre Dame. “I just think he could turn out to be a real special player, and being patient with him is definitely the right thing to do.”
Without any top-six forward spots available, Teravainen — the 18th pick in the 2012 draft — knows he will benefit more from being a top-line center in the Finnish Elite League than a role player in Chicago.
“I feel good and I think I maybe can play here,” Teravainen said. “But I think I need to get stronger and go back to Finland and get big minutes there.”
With Jonathan Toews and Brandon Pirri both sitting out Sunday’s scrimmages with injuries that Quenneville described as “not serious,” Teravainen played on the Hawks’ top line with Kane and Bryan Bickell and scored his second goal of camp. He also had two assists during the three days of scrimmaging.
“You can tell his talent level is sky-high,” said Kane, who went straight to the NHL at age 18 as a top overall pick. “I had fun playing with him. … I think he’s going to be a good one down the road.”
The Hawks raved about the facilities and atmosphere at Notre Dame’s Compton Family Ice Arena, which hosted five days of camp while the United Center was booked. But they were excited to be heading home to the United Center for Monday night’s training camp festival, which features a full, 60-minute intrasquad scrimmage. The game is sold out.
Including the scrimmage, the Hawks play six games in eight days. So the camp portion of the preseason is essentially over.
“It’s good to play the games and get into it and start getting in that game atmosphere, and try to get in game shape for the season,” Kane said.
Quenneville said that Toews (lower-body injury) will not play in the scrimmage, but that he’ll skate beforehand. There won’t be any cuts before the scrimmage, but with 56 players in camp not everyone will dress.
“I wouldn’t read into who doesn’t play and who does play,” he said.
Leading the way
After three days of scrimmaging at Notre Dame, Patrick Sharp (three goals, two assist) and Jimmy Hayes (three goals, two assists) were the Hawks’ leading scorers. Teravainen (two goals, two assist) was next. Patrick Kane had three goals, and Jeremy Morin, 2013 first-rounder Ryan Hartman, Maxim Shalunov, and Terry Broadhurst each scored twice. Bryan Bickell and Brad Winchester each had three assists.
Among the six goalies, all of whom played 100 minutes, Nikolai Khabibulin led the way, only giving up three goals. Corey Crawford and Antti Raanta gave up seven each.