It’s Teuvo Time!
The Chicago Blackhawks recalled their unanimous #1 prospect from the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs on Thursday afternoon, 20-year old Finnish forward Teuvo Teravainen.
Teravainen has posted solid numbers with the IceHogs in the first 33 games of the season, scoring 6 goals and 23 points, good for the second best total on the team. Teravainen has been a key part of Rockford’s revival, helping lead the team to a first-place ranking in the Midwest Division, with a 6 point advantage over the second-place Milwaukee Admirals. The IceHogs have not made the playoffs in the past five seasons.
By spring 2014, many expected Teravainen to play full-time with the Blackhawks in the second-line center role, but the addition of Brad Richards via free-agent signing meant Teravainen was in tough to crack the NHL roster in his first full professional season.
With Kris Versteeg suffering a hand injury in the Winter Classic after blocking a shot, Teravainen will be expected to fill a top-six role in the place of #23.
A move to Injured Reserve may be in Versteeg’s future, after head coach Joel Quenneville commented that the Blackhawks’ 3rd-leading scorer could be “out for a bit”.
Teravainen was the Blackhawks’ 2012 first-round pick at 18th overall, in a draft class where many pegged the flashy forward to be a top-10 pick. After solid seasons in the Finnish Elite League with Jokerit Helsinki, and captaining the Finnish U-20 team to a World Junior Hockey Championship nearly one year ago, Teravainen has been touted as one of the most promising prospects in the game.
Last season, Teravainen skated in three games for the Blackhawks, but failed to register a point, with four shots on goal.
The Blackhawks have a few days off since their Winter Classic loss to the Washington Capitals on New Year’s day, and take on divisional rival Dallas on Sunday night.
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