Sunday, September 15, 2013
Teravainen to return to Finland
By Scott Powers
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Chicago Blackhawks forward prospect Teuvo Teravainen will return to Finland this season despite playing well in training camp, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said on Sunday.
“I think we’re going to send him back, and he’s going to play over there,” Quenneville said. “But nice knowing there’s a real nice piece coming.”
The 19-year-old Teravainen, the Blackhawks’ 2012 first-round pick, received rave reviews from Quenneville throughout the three days of scrimmages, which ended on Sunday, at Notre Dame.
Teravainen was given a chance to play center with Bryan Bickell and Patrick Kane as his wings during two scrimmages on Sunday, and Teravainen’s play again caught Quenneville’s eye. Teravainen scored a goal, showed off a quick stick by stealing a few pucks, created chances for Bickell and Kane and appeared comfortable while possessing the puck.
“I think he’s one of those players that he seems to be special as far as his play recognition, where he protects the puck, how he sees plays,” Quenneville said. “Both sides of the puck, I think he’s really responsible defensively which at a young age is pretty remarkable, especially over here and a different type of game.”
Count Kane among the impressed as well.
“He’s good,” Kane said. “He makes some good plays. You can tell his talent level is sky high. I had fun playing with him. It was my first time playing with him. Sometimes you got to develop some chemistry and things like that. But he’s going to be a good player.”
Teravainen was excited for the opportunity to play alongside Kane and Bickell, but he didn’t feel out of place.
“It was pretty awesome,” Teravainen said. “They’re really good players. They’re awesome players. I think I played good.
“[The camp’s] been very fun. I think my legs felt very tired. It’s pretty tough, but it’s fun to play with the good guys. It’s an awesome experience for me. ... I feel good. I think I can maybe play here, but I think I need to get stronger and go back to Finland and get minutes there.”
Teravainen is expected to play in at least the Blackhawks’ first two preseason games on Tuesday and Thursday.
Teravainen signed a three-year, entry-level deal with the Blackhawks in August. According to his agent Markus Lehto, unless Teravainen appears in 10 regular-season games for the Blackhawks this season, his contract will slide a year and he won't become a restricted free agent until after the 2016-17 season. Lehto said it was possible for Teravainen to join the Blackhawks after his season is complete with Jokerit in Finland's Liiga.