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The Scouting Report: Teuvo Teräväinen

by Brad Boron / Chicago Blackhawks

The Blackhawks made eight selections in the 2012 NHL Draft last weekend, adding four forwards, two defensemen and two goaltenders to a farm system already considered among the league's deepest. But how are the newest Blackhawks viewed around the league and by the scouting community? took a look at what the draft experts had to say about the Blackhawks' selections, and will bring you their reports this week. Today's prospect: Finnish winger Teuvo Teravainen, taken 18th overall by Chicago.

NHL Director of European Scouting Goran Stubb: "He joined Jokerit right after the Christmas break [after a fast start with the club's Under-20 team] and proved to be a player with outstanding hockey sense and great overall skill... He was 17, but running the power play. He's not overly physically but is not intimidated by the physical game."

ISS Hockey's Ross MacLean: “Teravainen is probably the player who has shown the most development from August to now. Smooth, intelligent with great two-way efforts. He has a great one timer but can also really find his teammates well from the perimeter and off the rush. A very dynamic threat at all times.”

Red Line Report: "Thin and slightly built, but is a dominant and dynamic offensive talent. Scores eye-popping goals with absolutely magical hands - easily the fastest, softest hands in the draft. Patiently draws opposing players to him and then makes superbly imaginative set-ups right on the tape. Makes tough passes in tight look easy. Devastating one-timer that he loads up from the top of the circle on the PP, showing superb hand-eye coordination. Exceptionally light and quick on his feet with phenomenal balance. Edging is great and you barely hear his blades skimming the surface. Accelerates out of tight turns... Offers no physical component; won't drive through checks or win battles along the boards, but will play in traffic areas. Has made great strides defensively, showing vastly improved efforts and commitment levels."

Hockey Prospectus: "Teravainen is an impressive skater with a great first few steps who can get to a dangerous top speed that puts defenders on their heels, while also showing the ability to change gears quickly, and is very elusive from a standstill. His combination of quickness and speed is a great asset but his possession skills are even better and really drive top-end value. Teravainen has high-end puck skills which when combined with the ability he has with his feet, allow him to make very rapid movements with the puck and create space for himself in an instant. He’s a smart, creative player who knows how to miss checks and open up lanes. Tervainen has plus vision and regularly makes very aware distributions with regular moments of flash in his playmaking." "Teravainen’s stock for the 2012 NHL Draft has risen faster than he can skate a lap around an international-sized ice rink. And if we are to believe what scouts are saying about the latter, that’s faster than most of the prospects available in this year’s crop of future hockey stars... His size, or lack thereof appears to be the main obstacle standing in the way of scouts freely proclaiming him as one of the outright best players of the draft." "A forward who can play as either a center or winger. A solid scorer with very good playmaking and fantastic on-ice vision. Has excellent hockey sense and puck-handling. Very creative and calm with the puck, effective on the powerplay. Able to play his way out of trouble but needs to gain strength."

McKeen’s Director of Scouting David Burstyn: “Teravainen may have the best hands in the draft. His offensive zone hockey sense rivals that of [Nail] Yakupov and [Mikhail] Grigorenko... What makes Teravainen so special is his innate ability to slow down the pace of game with the puck on his stick. Teravainen has superior puck-handling skills and can spot the open man or trailer with ease as he holds onto the puck until the last possible second before executing a pass. His shot is also calculated and well placed. It is above average in terms of release and quickness, but it is not a heavy shot, more so an accurate one. Teravainen’s lack of physical play has come into question. He can play on the perimeter and is not the type of player to dig in the corners or go to the front of the net to retrieve the puck. Nonetheless his ability to manufacture offense is very enticing to NHL teams. Teravainen needs to play with physical wingers at the NHL level who can get him the puck and also have the ability to keep up with his offensive imagination." "Undersized offensive wing who has outstanding jump and lateral agility that lets him dangle and lead to scoring chances. Needs to gain both weight room strength and more thickness. Besides his devastating shot, he has a well-balanced stride and a variety of gears. In international competition, he continues to strengthen the views that he is a highly elite scorer whose skills, toughness, and scoring prowess may outweigh his size. Later viewings have shown he has made a become firmly more committed to his work in the defensive zone. There is no denying the skill that comes in this smaller package."

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