2012: Teuvo Teravainen, 1st round, 18th overall
Defenseman Dillon Fournier could still be a useful piece for the Blackhawks in the near future, but the 2012 class is all about Teuvo right now. It’s sad that he’s being discussed as a potential trade piece for the upcoming offseason, but I’m hoping Stan Bowman can find a way to keep him around and make sure he doesn’t cost the team an arm and a leg moving forward.
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Teuvo has Kane-line skills but has been afraid to display them at times. Part of this has to do, no doubt, with the short leash given to him by Quenneville, as well as his inconsistent role in the Blackhawks lineup. It’s led to Teuvo playing with anyone from Kane to Brandon Mashinter.
After Teuvo and Antoine Vermette were benched for no reason in the 2015 postseason, they returned and led the Blackhawks’ third line to great success. People thought it was the officially coming-out party for Teuvo. But now the slight winger/center is back is limbo, frustrating for him and Blackhawks fans.
In 140 games with the organization, Teuvo has 21 goals and 34 assists. The Finn really is destined for greater things in hockey — let’s just hope they come with the Blackhawks.
2013: Tyler Motte, 4th round, 121st overall
We’re now getting into territory of guys who are still working their way through either college or the minor-league system. We could’ve gone with Ryan Hartman here, since he’s played in a few NHL games (the only member of the Blackhawks’ 2013 class to do so thus far), but like Johns in 2010, I think Motte projects as a much better NHLer.
Motte played in all of eight games with the IceHogs last season after finishing up at the University of Michigan. In those eight games, Motte recorded 4 goals and 3 assists, including 2 postseason tallies. So that’s impressive. Also impressive is that Motte is currently part of Team USA in the IIHF World Championships. He has two assists in seven games thus far.
Motte, who also had two runs with the U.S. National Development Team, is described by Hockey’s Future as someone who, “despite his lack of stature, fits the ‘speed, hockey sense and character’ mantra of the Blackhawks’ front office.” There’s a good chance he’ll be battling for a Blackhawks roster spot come September, especially after signing his entry-level contract not long ago.
Next: 2014 And 2015