Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports
Teuvo Teravainen is the most heralded Hawks prospect since Patrick Kane and he has every right to be. Teuvo had a great season over in Finland this past year, but he has hasn’t had a chance to prove what he can do in North America. He has shown flashes of brilliance and has proved that he has the skill set and play making ability to be a force at the NHL level, but will he get a chance this season? The Blackhawks have such a deep line up that doesn’t seem to have an open spot for the Finnish superstar. Do you put Teravainen on the third or fourth line where he can average ten minutes of ice time, or do you bump one of your top six, so he can get some more ice time? The answer is neither. I know you’ll hate to hear this, but the best option for Teuvo is to send him to Rockford.
Teuvo Teravainen is a twenty year old kid whose development shouldn’t be rushed. There is no sense in keeping him in Chicago so he can play ten minutes a game, or play every other game. He should be sent to Rockford, so he can play everyday and continue to develop his all-around game. Teuvo has a great offensive skill set, but lacks a consistent defensive ability. Does that sound familiar to you? Former Blackhawk and current Florida Panther Brandon Pirri was dubbed the teams future second line center just a few years ago, but couldn’t develop a two-hundred foot game. He was gifted offensively, but didn’t fit into Quenneville system and was subsequently traded. Let Teravainen spend some time in Rockford to develop his complete game and he’ll be even more of a weapon when he gets to the NHL.
You may disagree with me and think that Teravainen should be in the lineup when the Hawks take the ice October ninth in Dallas, but is it really a good idea to rush such a strong prospects’ development? Rushing Teravainen could be detrimental to his development and that’s something that no one wants. The Hawks are in a position where they don’t need him right away, so why not let him play in the AHL for a season or a half.
What if someone gets hurt, or Brad Richards age has caught up with him and he can’t keep up with Patrick Kane and Brandon Saad? In that case go ahead and give Teravainen the opportunity to play in those top two lines. He has the ability to be a top six forward, so there is no sense in playing him anywhere else than those top two lines.
Where do you think Teravainen fits in with the Hawks?