He's been called the "Finnish Patrick Kane," given his size (5'11, 176), but also because of his playmaking ability. Highly-touted prospect Teuvo Teravainen is in Chicago and there hasn't been excitement like this about an import's arrival since the Beatles flew into town back in 1964.
On Friday, Kane was placed on long-term injury reserved after injuring his leg Wednesday night against St. Louis and Teravainen was recalled from Jokerit of the SM-Liiga. It's unknown if Kane will return before the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
After arriving on Thursday, Teravaninen took part in Friday's morning skate but will not play against the Carolina Hurricanes. Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville said he'd like to get him before the homestand ends, so that would mean a debut either Sunday against Nashville or Tuesday versus Dallas.
"He could be a special player in our league," said Quenneville. "Offensively, he's definitely got a great set of skills as far as puck possession and recognition of plays."
Teravainen's versaility will allow Quenneville to move him between wing and in the middle depending on how he performs. For now, he'll play center, where he switched to this season and where he said his defensive game improved. That could solve Chicago's no. 2 center issue.
While Chicago waits, there should be some brake-pumping happening, too. The Blackhawks are making the playoffs. That's not in danger. It's just a matter now of where they finish in the Central Division now. Patrick Kane's injury is a blow. So is Brandon Saad's. But both are likely to be back by the time the post-season rolls around. Teravainen's presence is just a luxury at this point. He could have still been playing in the Finnish League playoffs right now had things gone better for Jokerit.
Sure, the Blackhawks have lost six of their last 11 games, but the addition of Teravainen isn't some sort of call to find a savior. Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp, Marian Hossa, Duncan Keith... those guys are still around. Even the kid knows that.
"There's so many good players in this team," said Teravainen. "If I play here, I'm just one of those guys.
"I don't need to be Superman here."
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