Blackhawks impressed with Teravainen, but reiterate patience

Blackhawks impressed with Teravainen, but reiterate patience
July 19, 2014, 2:15 pm
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Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville talked Friday of this week’s prospect camp, of the up-and-coming players and their work out at Johnny’s IceHouse West.

Guess whose name came up first: yep, Teuvo Teravainen.

“You get to see him play in a game situation, you see his abilities jump out. I thought he had a special day,” said Quenneville of the Finnish forward, who wrapped up prospect camp with a scrimmage on Friday. “Over the course of the week, you can see his skills. When you put a puck and you’re playing for real, you see his vision, anticipation and how he’s creating with the puck. And his anticipation offensively is excellent.”

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Yes, Teravainen had an impressive camp to the surprise of, well, no one. The 19-year-old spent the week adjusting to North American ice and showing the skills that have Blackhawks fans salivating for the moment he’s a full-time member of this roster. 

General manager Stan Bowman also liked what he saw out of Teravainen this week. But he reiterated that the Blackhawks are going to be very patient with him, as they would with any young player.

“It’s going to take a number of years … and Teuvo isn’t the only one. He’s only 19 years old. There’s a whole group of these young players where it’s a process and you hope over the course of three or four years they’re going to be able to develop not only there strength but the endurance,” Bowman said on Friday. “The NHL season takes a toll on your body. Hopefully, you’re playing over 100 games a year, so you’re not going to be able to make those grounds up in just a few weeks of training. It’s a process. I give him credit for taking it seriously. As a young player he’s committed to becoming strong and working at it. We just have to be patient and allow those things to take time.”

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There’s still a chance Teravainen starts the season with the Rockford IceHogs. He ended the 2013-14 season there after playing three NHL games. It would be good work, a good teaching ground for him. Still, the potential is there with Teravainen, and he showed his future coaches plenty of that at camp.

“He’s only going to get better with both sides of the puck as he gets over here and familiar with our game,” Quenneville said. “It’s certainly fun watching him play and envisioning him playing where he’s going to be at some point in his career, at the top end of the game. That’s an exciting guy to watch.”