Teuvo Teravainen isn’t that concerned about pressure.
The Finnish forward said that when he first joined the Blackhawks last spring, which gave him a brief glimpse into the NHL world. And as he looks toward this fall, whether he’s with Rockford or Chicago, whether he’s one of the top centers or learning while Brad Richards takes that No. 2 role, Teravainen will roll with the punches.
Teravainen is one of 60-plus players participating in the Blackhawks’ development camp, which began Sunday at Johnny’s IceHouse West. He said he’s added a few pounds — make that a few kilos, anyway — and has gotten some rest. Now refreshed, he’s ready to see what the 2014-15 season brings.
What he’s not worried about is, well, worrying about how much pressure there is or isn’t on him to develop into the Blackhawks’ No. 2 center. The team acquired Richards on July 1 to bolster their depth at center and to allow Teravainen to develop at his own pace.
[MORE: Blackhawks: Toews, Kane get eight more years]
“I don’t think those things too much. I just focus on myself and try to practice hard,” Teravainen said following Sunday’s morning session. “I play where they put me and just try to (have) a good time here and work hard.”
Teravainen got thrown into the NHL fire last spring, when the Blackhawks brought him over after his Finnish team, Jokerit, wrapped up its postseason. He played in three games before being reassigned to Rockford. It was great learning but it was a long season for the forward, who participated in Blackhawks’ training camp, then played for Jokerit and in World Juniors before heading this way.
“It was a good experience but I had a really long season,” he said. “I played with five or six different teams. It was a hard season for me but it was good, too. I got a lot of experience when I came here, and I’m more ready because of that.”
Now, Teravainen, who is staying in Chicago the rest of the summer, is focused on getting stronger; he’ll work with team strength and conditioning coach Paul Goodman to get there. Otherwise, Teravainen is here to learn, to develop and to see what he can do in the fall, whether it’s in Chicago or Rockford.
“I feel good but it’s been (a long) time without hockey so I think my body needs hockey,” he said. “I’m ready this season. I can’t wait.”