Chicago Blackhawks rookie Teuvo Teravainen, from Finland, skates during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Dallas Stars Tuesday, March 25, 2014, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Blackhawks shower Teravainen with praise after his debut


From a statistical perspective, Teuvo Teravainen’s NHL debut with Chicago wasn’t remarkable.

The 19-year-old forward logged 11:39 minutes and was 7-0 on the draw, but recorded no points, shots on goal, hits, or blocked shots in the Blackhawks’ 4-2 victory over Dallas.

He impressed his teammates though, who were more than happy to add to the hype already surrounding the 2012 first-round pick.

“I thought he was awesome,” Duncan Keith told CSN Chicago. “There were a couple times there in the (defensive) zone where we made couple quick plays to one another and were able to get it out of the zone. He has so much patience and skill. He’s going to be an unbelievable player in this league.”

Keith went on to compare Teravainen to a young Patrick Kane. Kris Versteeg sees shades of Kane in Teravainen too when it comes to his puck control and skill.

Of course, they’re not saying that Teravainen is at that level yet, but clearly the Blackhawks feel the ceiling is very high for him.

Teravainen joined the team after leading Finland to a gold medal in the 2014 World Junior Championship and recording 44 points in 49 games with Jokerit of the SM-liiga in 2013-14.

Panarin impresses ‘Hawks with his preseason debut

Artemi Panarin
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Will Artem Panarin‘s overwhelming success in the KHL translate to North America? The 23-year-old forward has a lot to prove, but his first big test was a success.

Playing on a line with Patrick Kane and Artem Anisimov, Panarin made his preseason debut in Chicago’s finale on Saturday. He registered two assists while giving his teammates reason to be optimistic about him.

“For not being on the ice he looks really relaxed. He’s great with the puck, has nice moves and I think we’ll see a lot of this,” Marian Hossa told CSN Chicago. “He has unbelievable skill. People here in Chicago are going to have a good time watching this guy dangling.”

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville was impressed by Panarin as well and liked that line as a whole.

The fact that the trio seemed to hit it off quickly has to come as a relief after an upper-body injury prevented Panarin from getting the most out of this year’s training camp. At the end of the day though, the fact that he was able to at least get in one preseason contest is a big silver lining. How smoothly his adjustment goes from here is still a big X-factor, but at least now he’s going into the regular season with a better idea of what to expect.

Panarin is attempting to establish himself in the NHL after leading the KHL’s SKA St. Petersburg to a championship last year. He was the team’s scoring leader, topping ex-NHL star Ilya Kovalchuk.

Gustavsson secures one-year contract with Bruins

Jonas Gustavsson
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There was stiff competition for the backup goaltending job in Boston, but with a signing this afternoon, it seems likely that the matter has been resolved.

The Boston Bruins announced that Jonas Gustavsson has agreed to a one-year, $700,000 deal. It’s a one-way contract, according to the Boston Globe’s Amalie Benjamin.

That contract is still small enough that the Bruins could bury it in the minors if they so desire, but it does set him apart from his last competitor for the goalie position, Jeremy Smith, who has a two-way deal. The fact that Boston went this route seems to imply that Gustavsson will serve as Tuukka Rask‘s understudy, although both netminders attended Sunday’s practice.

In Smith, the Bruins would be getting a 26-year-old goaltender who was dominant with the AHL’s Providence Bruins last season, but has no NHL experience. By contrast Gustavsson, 30, has played in almost 150 NHL games.

Boston sent Zane McIntyre and Malcolm Subban to the minors last week, but an argument could be made that either one of them is worthy of the backup job. However, both of them have a lot of potential and it’s not surprising that the Bruins felt they were better served by staying in the minors where they can play regularly and focus on honing their game.