The Carolina Hurricanes made one of the biggest splashes of the offseason so far on Wednesday, a deal which brought in Teuvo Teravainen and Bryan Bickell from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for picks.
The trade ultimately served as a salary dump for the Hawks, a team strapped for cap room. Fortunately, Carolina not only has an excess in cap room, they desperately need the cap hit in order to inch closer to the NHL’s cap floor. Bickell is entering the final year of a deal that carries $4 million against the cap. Chicago needed the cap space, but they had to pay a pretty penny in order to make it happen.
That pretty penny was Teravainen, who is entering his third season as a pro in North America.
Teuvo Teravainen is Worth it
Dating back to 2012 when he was drafted 18th overall by the Blackhawks, the Finnish forward has been on Carolina’s radar.
“I remember discussions with our scouts, and they loved him,” Hurricanes general manager Ron Francis said after the trade on Wednesday. “Great hockey sense, great skillset, skates well. He was somebody that they really thought highly of in that draft. It didn’t happen for us, and Chicago was probably surprised to get him at 18 when they did.”
The thing that stands out the most about Teravainen is his skill set, and it’s a very impressive one for the 21-year old. He’s an incredible playmaker with high-end vision and hands. He makes things happen all over the ice, even in situations where he is at a severe disadvantage.
As a young player on a great team, he naturally didn’t get much playing time on special teams in Chicago, which played a role in his relatively disappointing 35 points in 78 games. Although, it is worth noting that is was his first full season in the NHL.
On top of his undeniable skill set, he has a wealth of experience. He served as an alternate captain for Jokerit in 2013-14 in the Liiga as a 19-year old. He finished with 35 assists and 44 points in 49 games that year.
In his rookie season, Teravainen played a big role, after a midseason call-up, in Chicago’s run to the Stanley Cup, tallying 10 points in 18 playoff games, including a pair of points in game one of the Stanley Cup Final.
Francis has already said that Teravainen will play in a top-six role next season, which will be a very good opportunity from him. He was drafted as a player with star potential, and Carolina seems like the perfect place for him to live up to those high expectations.
Despite his small stature at 5 feet 11 inches, 179 pounds, he should be more than able to handle the bigger role alongside Jordan Staal, Victor Rask, Elias Lindholm and Jeff Skinner, amongst others. He has an incredible skill set and a winning background, which should contribute a lot to Carolina’s forward unit. That being said, getting bigger and stronger should be a priority for him.
The Finnish are Coming!
He will likely play alongside fellow Finn Sebastian Aho this season. Aho inked his entry-level deal with yet another Finn, Aleksi Saarela, on Monday.
The Hurricanes certainly seem confident in the Finns, and with all the Finland-born talent added to the roster over the past few days, it’s easy to see why.