Top prospect Teuvo Teravainen likely to land spot on Blackhawks
BY MARK LAZERUS Staff Reporter March 16, 2014 10:14PM
Updated: March 16, 2014 10:26PM
Teuvo Teravainen’s season in Finland is over. His NHL career might be about to begin.
With Jokerit being eliminated from the Liiga playoffs Sunday, the Blackhawks’ top prospect likely is headed to Chicago in the near future.
“It’s something we’ll talk about,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “We saw what he’s capable of in camp, and I guess there was some real good progression to his season, as well. It could happen at some point.”
It wouldn’t be unprecedented. Marcus Kruger came over from Sweden in March 2011 and played in seven regular-season games before playing in five playoff games against the Canucks. And Brandon Saad played in two playoff games against the Coyotes in 2012 after his junior season ended.
One catch: If Teravainen plays 10 games — regular season and/or playoffs — it burns the first year of his three-year, entry-level contract.
Teravainen, a 5-10, 185-pound center, is a highly skilled playmaker who had nine goals and 35 assists in 49 games with Jokerit this season. He also led the world juniors in scoring with two goals and 13 assists.
Quenneville said Teravainen has gotten stronger and more defensively responsible during the course of the season.
Teravainen is pegged as the Hawks’ second-line center of the future. And while Quenneville said Sunday he’s “comfortable” with Michal Handzus in that role, Teravainen is likely to get a crack at it.
“Young guys this time of the year can give you a little jump,” Quenneville said. “We’ll see what happens.”