teuvo camp

Teuvo Time

With yesterday’s news that the Hawks have signed their 2012 first round pick Teuvo Teravainen to his entry level deal, both the franchise and the player are presented with some interesting options. The contract clock hasn’t started to tick yet, but the unwashed masses of Blackhawk Nation (including this site) are more than a little excited at what the future holds for the shifty Finn, and have been since he unexpectedly fell into Stan Bowman’s lap last June at the Entry Draft.

Because both the current roster and farm system are relatively stocked with talent, the Hawks have some options, which it’s now realistic to examine.

Last year for Jokerit in the Finnish Elite league, Teuvo put up respectable numbers as a child playing with grown ass men, including a number of NHLers during the early part of the SM-Liiga campaign, and specifically Norris winner Erik Karlsson and the now horrifically overpaid Valtteri Filppula on the Jokerit squad. Teuvo notched 31 points in 46 games, and two points in six playoff games. While these numbers don’t really set the world ablaze, they’re far from pedestrian given the disparity of age, and Teravainen even carried a plus rating at +2, for whatever that’s worth as an offensively gifted rookie in a non-NHL league.

By all accounts, it appears that Teravainen will remain with Jokerit for this season, the team’s last in SM-Liiga before moving to the KHL. And though no one will say it, I’m sure the Hawks would like to have him in the fold here at least in Rockford before extracting him from The K becomes a giant asshole hassle.

There would be some upside to bringing him in for this year’s camp and have him spend some time in Rock Vegas however. While the Finnish league is certainly professional and arguably has a higher talent level than the AHL, the game there is different, particularly the size of the ice. And as everyone saw last year with Vladimir Tarasenko, the boards will sneak up on you real quick if you’re used to having more room to operate. And though Teuvo’s game has shown that he seems to thrive in traffic, there will still be a period of adjustment to the North American sheet, especially given how slightly he’s built.

Furthermore, if the Hawks have designs on using his creativity at center (as they do with every prospect they’ve ever had), they have far more control over his usage with the Piggies than they do with Jokerit. He’d also get time getting his sea legs with Mark McNeill and Philip Danault, the Hawks’ two prospects at center from the first round of the 2011 draft.

Either way, it’s a very good thing that the Hawks have got another top flight asset under control for the forseeable future and have options on how to foster his development, which is more than they can say for Stephen Johns at the moment.

  • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

    Amazing that a team that has drafted dead last twice in the last four years can have so much talent in the pipe. That’s a nod to the whole organization, not just StanBo.

    • 10thMountainFire

      I was thinking the same thing the other day. I’m a big Sox fan as well and there is a very discernible difference between the Hawks and Sox franchises; the Hawks are just unbelievably talented in the scouting department. They just keep drafting great talent.

      I can’t wait to see Teuvo in an Indianhead.

      • Paul the Fossil

        Not only drafting but also handling the talent well. For all of our carping about some of Q’s lineup decisions and his line-o-matic ways, and I’ve done some of that yelling myself, overall the Hawks handle the talent very well nowadays. Deciding who to promote or not and when, who’s ready for a new role or not, which players should be signed to what sort of contract and when, etc.

        Of course that side of things will never be 100% free of problems or wrong moves because these are human beings after all. (Not just the players are but also the coach.) But still doesn’t it seem like this franchise nowadays has fewer and less-serious player personnel clusterfucks than almost any other in the league? Like they are mostly quite thoughtful and strategic about it? Unafraid to try something with a player but rarely seem to be just grasping at straws? Patient when that makes sense but not to the point of just enabling? We can all think of the examples in each of those categories.

        Put another way: if I was the parent of a highly-promising young hockey talent like Teuvo there are few if any NHL franchises that I’d feel better about having my boy invest his future path in than this one. (And talk about a radical departure from what anyone would have said about this franchise a decade or two ago…!)

    • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

      Hip hip for the 2010 purge, and for the 2013 purgette?

    • putmeinthemadhouse

      the two first rounders in 2011 were helpful,

  • Rodney Nelson

    What are grown ass-men?

    • 10thMountainFire
      • bizarrohairhelmet

        It’s cute how naively the crowd chants about wanting the cup at the beginning of that video.

        • mightymikeD

          well, they sure got the Cup…

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            They should have been more specific.

      • mightymikeD

        oh, I could watch that on repeat till the sun goes supernova

        • Joe Banks

          I need a cigarette…

        • bizarrohairhelmet

          Even knowing what’s going to happen doesn’t mute the joy

        • 10thMountainFire

          I love you.

        • bizarrohairhelmet

          In the handshake line, Kaner sees his bro Horton and greets him like “Isn’t this awesome?!?” and then realizes Hortie probably wants to kill him at the moment.

          • Accipiter

            His bro is Seguin.

      • ahnfire

        *happy sigh*

    • MySpoonIsTooBig

      The mortal enemies of grown breast-men?

      • DesertHawk

        And the poor both-men, caught in the middle of a fierce war.

  • 07GreyDigger

    I really hope this doesn’t turn into another insert Russian prospect here debacle.

    • lizmcneill

      I don’t see how it would – he isn’t Russian, he doesn’t have a KHL contract and he now has an NHL one.

      • 07GreyDigger

        How quickly everyone forgets such names as Petri Kontiola, Igor Makarov, Ivan Vishnesky and Michal Barinka. Guys from other countries who we were told were awesome prospects who never wanted to come to the US.

        Maybe Russia was a poor choice, but the team has gotten burned in the overseas market plenty.

        • lizmcneill

          On the other hand Jelly, Frogger and Memo all worked out well.

        • arlingtonrob

          Swedes, Czechs and Slovaks have worked out rather well. I don’t think the attitudes of Finns and Russians can be compared. Teuvo attended the draft, showed up for prospect camp last year, and will be at this years training camp…all indications to me that the 19 yo wants to play in the NHL.

          The greatest Finnish hockey players laced ‘em up in the NHL, not the KHL.

        • neo1978

          Those guys were drafted in the 7th, 2nd, 2nd and 2nd rounds. If you really want to improve the Hawks, tell them to stop drafting those Canada guys. Not when they have had top 10 in the 1st round busts like Beach, Cam Carker and Mark Bell.

          • lizmcneill

            And Americans. Skille was 7th overall.

        • DesertHawk

          I don’t remember being excited about any of them… honestly I’m not really excited about Teuvo… once he makes the big club, then I’ll excited. Til then, he’s a passing interest.

  • mightymikeD

    I wasn’t around this neighbourhood back then, but the impression I get is that this is the most excited Hawks fans have been about a prospect since drafting a certain undersized kid from Buffalo. I guess time will tell, but this is smart from the org. As McClure mentioned, they’ll want to have Teuvo searching in vain for

    leipäjuusto on the menu at the Rockford Olive Garden before any KHL transition starts at Jokerit.

    • bizarrohairhelmet

      Does he search for leipäjuusto at Olive Garden after searching in vain for real Italian food?

      • mightymikeD

        yup.

        • Joe Banks

          The bread sticks are nice…

          • DesertHawk

            I really like their dressing…

    • Joe Banks

      I seem to recall that the instant they drafted him, you were hands down the most excited… do I remember that correctly?

      • mightymikeD

        sadly, no. I wasn’t even a Hockey fan back then… oh, wait, do you mean Teuvo?

        • Joe Banks

          Sorry, I meant Tuevo

          • mightymikeD

            Aye. I was excited. Still am. We Euro-Wusses have to stick together!

          • DesertHawk

            As an Ameri-wuss can I stick with you guys?

  • joedl42

    i keep hearing there seems to be rough waters ahead with Stephen Johns, maybe i haven’t been paying enough attention this summer, what’s the deal with him?

    • VanDorp’sMullet

      I was wondering the same thing… I haven’t followed this story at all. What’s up with Johns?

      • http://www.thecommittedindian.com/ Matt McClure

        Johns still hasn’t signed his ELC yet. Basically if he waits it out, he’s a free agent, similar to what Justin Schultz did. More from Chris Block here.

        http://thethirdmanin.com/2013/04/19/icehogs-playoff-chances-and-scenarios-dylan-olsen-injury-plus-notes-on-drew-leblanc-stephen-johns-and-more/

        • jhb

          The most recent things I’d heard (granted, from the team itself) it seems that Johns just wants to finish out college. It could be a ploy but the kid doesn’t even know if Pitt would/could bid for him. They have a few high end D prospects and would also have to outbid other teams. When has there ever been a bidding war on a stay-at-home college kid? In the world of Hawks fans, yes, a little nervous because Olsen is not shaping up the way we’d like. But Dahlbeck, Palliota or Mattson could step up too.

          • VanDorp’sMullet

            Thanks, Matt and jhb. So Johns wants to play for the Penguins? That’s what he’s angling for? Poor guy.

          • arlingtonrob

            John’s wanting to play for the Pens is mostly conjecture.

            He does have a borderline unhealthy attachment to Notre Dame and insists on fulfilling his 4 year hockey commitment and completing his degree. This could be seen as honorable, or as indecisive.

            I’ve heard that Stephen is friends with Saad so that may play a roll is his decision making, plus the fact that he has participated in Hawk prospect camps suggests that there’s no problem.

            It makes no sense why anyone would choose NOT to play for the Blackahawks at this point in time…but then I’m not Stephen Johns and have no idea what he’s thinking.

          • mightymikeD

            I like the idea of College athletes finishing their studies.. call me naive if you will.

          • Z-man19

            You are naive, I will

          • DesertHawk

            Agreed, didn’t someone just retire last year, before ever skating an NHL game, because their skull got cracked. Better to have an education, then play. Than to play, with no back up, if something horrible happens.

          • 334Rules

            I think the idea of not seizing a degree from ND when you have the chance is ludicrous. The average NHL career is what – 5 years? Even if you make a boat-load of money in that short time, you’re still gonna want to do something after that, and we’re not talking about a general studies degree from North Dakota, but rather a business degree from Notre Dame.

          • arlingtonrob

            I can understand the desire to complete a degree program, but I take the opposite position regarding the timing of it all. The window of opportunity for fully developing an athletic skill set, while maximizing ones youth is rather narrow. Include the financial advantage of turning pro and the choice is obvious to me…make your money now and complete your education later. In addition, the career of a professional athlete, especially if successful, provides additional opportunities for employment following a career is sports.

            It’s not a perfect analogy, but having the skills to play a sport professionally…and become wealthy simultaneously…is like hitting the lottery. Take advantage of the opportunity when it presents itself. If the hockey career doesn’t blossom, use the money earned, which would still be rather substantial, to get the finest education money can buy.

            All that being said, I respect Stephen’s decision to stay is school…it’s just not the advice I would have given him. I’m sure he weighed his options before announcing his intentions.

            Best of luck to him…

            Now don’t F$@K the Hawks over by not signing next June.

        • neo1978

          Not really. Justin Schultz played a year in juniors after he was drafted and before he went to college. So his senior year was his fifth year since being drafted not his fourth. The Justin Schultz loophole was because he was a fifth year prospect

          Johns will be in his fourth year if he goes back to college. The Hawks will have his rights for another year after that to sign him.

          • Z-man19

            I like your facts

          • Why

            8.6(c)(iv)(b) of the CBA. See above. McClure’s right, but the difference is Schultz could go FA earlier in the summer.

        • Joe Banks

          Well, aren’t the Blackhawks holding training camp at Notre Dame soon??? Hmmm…
          And isn’t StanBow an alumini??? Hmm…

      • Why

        If you’re still wondering on this, the basic answer is that if he plays the hockey season at college and wants to sign with an NHL team, he has three options:

        1) Quit school before graduating and become a free agent on August 15, 2014;

        2) Stay in school and become a free agent on June 1, 2015;

        3) Sign with the Blackhawks while they still have exclusive negotiating rights.

        Link here on the new CBA: http://www.lighthousehockey.com/2013/6/7/4404684/nhl-cba-college-loophole-ncaa-change

  • thefearlessfreep

    I am excited as the next Hawks fan about this, but two words make me wary of all the hype surrounding the next Finnish phenom:
    Tuomo Ruuttu

    • putmeinthemadhouse

      why, because theyre both finnish? they are completely different players…

    • arlingtonrob

      Ruutu was a solid player who couldn’t stay healthy…and didn’t the Hawks turn him around for one Andrew Ladd? If I recall that worked out rather well.

      If Teuvo’s time with the Hawks has similar results I won’t be that disappointed.

      But at this point in time I am excited about his potential…the future still looks positive for the Hawks.

  • lizmcneill

    Do you think him and Danault both make the team in 2014/5? Apart from the 2C there isn’t an empty slot in the top 6 and the LW has 3 options – which the both play when they aren’t center, right?
    You could have a ridiculously stacked 3rd and 4th line though.

    • Joe Banks

      Personally, I expect Danault to make the team this year. Not necessarily day 1… I’m thinking that signing Tuevo now is KHL proofing.
      We shall see.

    • 2883

      Danault isn’t in my opinion a true top 6 option, so not a worry..

      • lizmcneill

        Still no 2C then? Probably when Toews retires they’ll be able to afford one….

        • 2883

          McNeill has a shot at it but he’s still 2-3 years away.