The Blackhawks have called up a number of players from AHL Rockford this season, but their No. 1 prospect — Teuvo Teravainen — hasn’t been among the recalls.
And that’s not sitting very well with the 20-year-old Finn.
“I just try to play here [in Rockford],” Teravainen said, per ESPN Chicago. “I know it’s pretty hard playing here. It’s different hockey. It’s not my type of hockey maybe, AHL hockey.
“I think there’s a difference with NHL hockey and AHL hockey. I’m just trying to do my job here and play my best.”
Teravainen’s production has been decent in his first full season in North America — he has two goals and 10 points in 17 games for the IceHogs — but he’s clearly not pleased with where or how he’s playing (“I need some points,” he said. “Of course, I’m not too happy.”)
What’s more, the Blackhawks have routinely gone to the farm this season to replace injured NHLers, without calling on Teravainen. That means the likes of Philip Danault, Joakim Nordstrom and Peter Regin have all seen time in Chicago ahead of Teuvo.
This is a familiar problem for the ‘Hawks. Several top-flight prospects have felt stymied before due to the club’s remarkable depth at forward; Brandon Pirri and Jimmy Hayes are now in Florida while Kevin Hayes, the club’s first-round pick in 2010, balked at signing and joined the Rangers as a free agent this summer instead.
Despite this history, the ‘Hawks insist they’re going to keep being patient with Teravainen.
“I think that’s the biggest word — patience with the process,” Rockford GM Mark Bernard explained. “Teuvo is coming over [from Finland]. He’s 20 years old. This is a foreign country for him. He’s left a lot behind, his family. He’s learning the game on a smaller ice surface where things develop and happen a lot quicker.
“I think he’s right on track.”