Teuvo's time may be limited down stretch

Teuvo Teravainen's playing time will come on a game-by-game basis. Steve Babineau/NHLI/Getty Images

CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks rookie forward Teuvo Teravainen might be learning the NHL game more off the ice than on it over the remainder of the season.

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said recently he’s not committed to playing the 19-year-old Teravainen every game, and Teravainen will be a healthy scratch against the Minnesota Wild on Thursday.

“We’re going to see [about] Teuvo each and every game,” Quenneville said after practice on Wednesday. “We’re going to look at what’s our best lineup for that night and that game and the opponent, as well.”

Quenneville expounded on Teravainen’s play over his first three NHL games and how he could be used in the future this season on Thursday.

“He’s been OK,” Quenneville said. “I thought his first game he looked like it was a nice initiation to the league. I thought he handled himself very well and played in some tough buildings. I thought he did OK.

“I thought he got better as far as recognizing the pace and what’s needed. I think he’ll just get better with time just watching. He’s not going to play tonight. But as we go along here, I think it’ll be a good education for him, a good process in getting acclimated in what’s needed at this level.”

Teravainen has no points, four shots on goal, a zero rating and an average ice time of 14:06 in his three games with the Blackhawks. He joined the Blackhawks after his season in the Liiga in Finland last month.

Quenneville was asked if Teravainen might be better off playing with the Rockford IceHogs down the stretch, but the coach didn’t have an answer.

“I’m not sure exactly how that’s all going to play out right now,” Quenneville said.

The first year of Teravainen’s contract wouldn’t go into effect until next season if he played less than 10 games (regular season and playoffs) this season. Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said previously that wouldn’t be a factor in whether he plays this season.

Teravainen wasn’t sure how often he would play the rest of this season when asked on Wednesday. He was just happy to be with the team and learning.

“I have obviously seen this world now, seen how we play and how hard we play,” Teravainen said on Wednesday. “I think it’s been great days here. I’m learning every day. I feel better every day.”