After a strong performance in a recent development camp for World Junior Championships contenders, the Chicago Blackhawks have rewarded 18-year-old Finnish forward Teuvo Teravainen to a three-year entry level contract.
Teravainen, who was the 18th overall selection of the Hawks in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, had 31 points (13 G, 18A) in 44 games for SM-liiga’s Jokerit during the 2012-13 season. He also had 11 points in six games during the 2013 U20 World Championships this past year.
Teravainen got some strong praise from various scouts at that WJC camp in Lake Placid earlier this month. Here is what Hockey Prospectus’ Corey Pronman had to say about him:
“With Chicago GM Stan Bowman in attendance, Teravainen had a fantastic week and led all players in scoring. “He’s been great here,” said Finland head coach Karri Kivi. “I think he was the best player at the tournament.” He had scouts buzzing about how dangers he was every shift with one of the more memorable performances at this under-20 camp in the past few years. Teravainen’s great speed, puck skills, vision and shooting skill are what made him so dangerous.”
Teravainen has developed a cult following among hockey fans because of his spectacularly quick hands, as well as his penchant for stepping up in key situations. His performances in his two stints in World Championship play (he had eight points in the 2012 tournament) are indicative of a player who thrives when the quality of competition ratchets up, and his contract with the Hawks almost surely means that he will be making the jump across the Atlantic at some point in the next year or so.
As for now, Teravainen will remain in Finland. According to ESPN.com, Teravainen will play one more season for Jokerit in his native Finland before he comes to the US full-time, although the expectation is that he will participate in the team’s training camp in September.