When the Chicago Blackhawks drafted Teuvo Teravainen 18th overall at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft in Pittsburgh, many hockey analysts knew that the ‘Hawks got a steal. However, what wasn’t apparent to the majority of hockey fans, is just how good the kid is.
Now that the 2014 World Junior Hockey Championships are in the books, however, nobody doubts the claims made about Teravainen’s talent.
Teravainen recorded three assists in the gold-medal game as his native Finland won their first World Junior Championship since 1998. The Finnish captain, playing in his last tournament as a 19-year old, continually dropped jaws all throughout with his mind-boggling acceleration that rivals that of another young player, the Colorado Avalanche‘s Nathan MacKinnon. Teravainen finished the tournament with 15 points in 7 games.
Teravainen, who plays with Jokerit, one of the proudest clubs of the Finnish Elite League, has recorded 17 points in 29 games this season.
It was hard to keep from dreaming of Teravainen donning the ‘Hawks sweater, and the possibility of the prospect filling in on second-line center with Patrick Kane has Blackhawks’ fans drooling.
It is becoming increasingly more likely that Teravainen will make the jump right to the NHL, after Blackhawks’ GM Stan Bowman decided not to bring him to Rockford of the AHL this season, instead electing to let him remain in the Finnish Elite League.
Teravainen’s future creates a good problem for the Blackhawks in the coming seasons, who, with Michal Handzus expected to retire at the end of this year, will have five natural centers on the team: Jonathan Toews, Andrew Shaw, Marcus Kruger, Brandon Pirri (who is currently in Rockford) and Teravainen. Shaw can move over to the wing on third-line, and with Pirri up full-time with the Blackhawks after leading the AHL in scoring in 2013, it seems that the best will continue to get better.
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