Blackhawks’ Teravainen ‘in a better spot’

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With Kris Versteeg suffering an injury during Thursday’s Winter Classic, the Chicago Blackhawks recalled prospect Teuvo Teravainen from the American Hockey League’s Rockford IceHogs on Friday.

According to Rockford head coach, Ted Dent, Teravainen is better prepared for the NHL after a stint in the AHL.

“He’s in a better spot than he was at the beginning of the season with his game,” Dent told ESPN Chicago. “I think everyone’s agreed he’s making strides in the right direction and has gotten better over the last month. He’s played at a higher level.

“I think you lose Kris Versteeg, a highly skilled forward, they’re looking to replace Versteeg with some skill. It’s ‘Turbo time.'”

Teravainen, 20, was Chicago’s first-round pick (18th overall) in 2012. The native of Helsinki, Finland has six goals and 23 points in 33 games this season.

The forward spent eight games in North America last season appearing in three games with the Blackhawks where he failed to register a point. Teravainen also played five games with Rockford scoring two goals.

“Defensively, he’s been good away from the puck with his recognition of where to be, his stick placement, his angles,” Dent said. “He’s really cognizant of when to help on defense and get back at times.”

According to Scott Powers of ESPNChicago.com, Teravainen is expected to remain at center with the Blackhawks joining a line of Andrew Shaw and Bryan Bickell.

The Blackhawks return to action Sunday when they play host to the Dallas Stars.