And so begins the Teuvo watch.
On Monday, Chicago head coach Joel Quenneville confirmed reports his club expects Teuvo Teravainen — the Finnish prospect taken 18th overall at the ’12 NHL Entry Draft — to join the ‘Hawks at the end of the SM-liiga season.
“I’m expecting him to come here when his season’s done,” Quenneville said, per ESPN Chicago. “We’ll see after that.”
Teravainen, 19, is considered to be one of the best players currently outside the NHL. He starred for the gold medal-winning Finnish team at the ’14 World Juniors — making the All-Star team while leading the tournament in scoring — and has been on a tear in club team Jokerit ever since, scoring 26 points in his last 19 games.
Here’s more, from ESPN:
Teravainen appeared in two preseason games with the Blackhawks before joining Jokerit this season. Bowman said recently Teravainen’s play had improved since he left Chicago.
“I think when he left here in October, he was a little bit of a slow start,” Bowman said. “He had missed some games while he was in training camp with us. It took him a little bit to get going. I think he started playing well in December, and, ever since the world junior tournament, he’s been dominating.
“He’s been scoring every game. He’s the leading scorer of the team even though he hasn’t played as many games as other guys.”
It sounds as though Teravainen’s availability is solely dependent upon Jokerit’s season. According to an ESPN source, the Finnish national team has given him “its blessing” to join the ‘Hawks this year, rather than compete for Finland at the World Hockey Championships.
As such, many eyes will be on Jokerit over the next week, or weeks. It’s season could be finished as early as March 16 or could run as late as April 26, depending how it does in the playoffs.