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Teravainen expected to be first Finn drafted Friday

Tuesday, 19.06.2012 / 3:52 PM / Feature
By Mike Morreale  - Staff Writer
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Teravainen expected to be first Finn drafted Friday
Teuvo Teravainen may have a relatively small stature, but it hasn\'t been a problem for the top projected Finn heading into the 2012 NHL Draft.

Finnish forward Teuvo Teravainen may be small in stature but he's already a proven performer among men.

The 17-year-old Teravainen had as impressive a second half to the season as one could possibly have in their draft year after being promoted to Jokerit in the prestigious SM-Liiga, the top professional league in Finland.

"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," NHL Director of European Scouting, Goran Stubb, told "He was 17, but running the power play. He's not overly physically but is not intimidated by the physical game."

The elusive Teravainen, who is 5-foot-11 and a mere 165 pounds, exploded for 12 goals and 20 points in 11 games with Jokerit's Under-20 team before producing 11 goals and 18 points in 40 games in the men's league. The left wing was even bestowed the Jarmo Wasama Trophy as the rookie of the year.

"I felt I played well at the end of the season and played a big role for [Jokerit]," Teravainen told "I played a top-six role and was on the power play and I think that's the reason I was able to play so well. In the playoffs, I also played center for the big club."

At center, in fact, Teravainen had two goals and six points in nine postseason games. He topped all tournament scorers with six goals and eight points at the 2012 U18 Five Nations Cup in Pori, Finland, in February.

"It was pretty difficult during those playoff games," Teravainen said. "In the playoffs, things get bigger. It was tough but the coaches moved me to center and that was a good thing for me -- I had no problems there."

Carolina Hurricanes director of amateur scouting Tony MacDonald recently told the Raleigh News & Observer how impressed he was with Teravainen. The Hurricanes currently hold the No. 8 pick in Friday's opening round of the 2012 NHL Draft at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh.

"He's deadly one-on-one and very good with the puck," MacDonald said. "He does things with the puck beyond the skill level of many players. He can distribute the puck both ways, can pass on the backhand better than most people can on their forehand.

"There's a lot to like about this kid. The only concern, if there is one, is he's not a real big but I don't think it's going to be an issue going forward with a player with that kind of skill and that feel and the offensive dimension he brings to the table."

MacDonald actually compared Teravainen to Chicago Blackhawks center Patrick Kane. Teravainen likes the comparison.

"I try and model my game after Patrick Kane and Pavel Datsyuk," Teravainen said. "While I try and watch those guys a lot, I think I'm similar to [Detroit forward] Valtteri Filppula.

"Valtteri is like me, a good overall player and he's fun to watch."

Central Scouting expects Teravainen to be the first player from Finland off the board. He's ranked No. 2 behind Sweden's Filip Forsberg on Central's final list of draft-eligible skaters from Europe.

"He tiny, but has gone straight up the charts this season," Stubb praised. "He's playing with confidence and he ended up the season playing on the first line in Jokerit, which is huge. His understanding of the game is unbelievable and he's always in the right spot at the right time. He's a very dedicated young man and any team would be lucky to have him as part of their organization."

Teravainen knows he needs to get stronger and improve his defensive game, but he possesses all those intangibles that would be difficult for any coach to teach.

"I'll get stronger and it will take a lot of work," Teravainen said. "A lot of work in the gym. My defensive game did improve a bit later in the season and is not the problem now."

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale

Author: Mike G. Morreale | Staff Writer




1 ANA 66 42 17 7 196 179 91
2 NSH 65 41 17 7 193 158 89
3 STL 63 40 18 5 197 159 85
4 CHI 64 38 21 5 188 152 81
5 WPG 65 32 21 12 180 175 76
6 VAN 63 36 24 3 182 173 75
7 MIN 63 34 22 7 179 163 75
8 CGY 63 34 25 4 178 162 72
9 LAK 63 30 21 12 171 164 72
10 SJS 65 32 25 8 185 183 72
11 COL 64 28 25 11 170 183 67
12 DAL 64 28 26 10 199 212 66
13 ARI 64 20 37 7 139 218 47
14 EDM 64 18 36 10 145 213 46


A. Ladd 65 22 30 13 52
B. Little 65 24 27 10 51
B. Wheeler 63 17 29 13 46
D. Byfuglien 65 15 27 6 42
M. Perreault 56 18 18 3 36
M. Scheifele 65 10 26 2 36
M. Frolik 65 14 20 5 34
D. Stafford 59 11 17 -20 28
J. Tlusty 55 13 11 -19 24
E. Kane 37 10 12 -1 22
M. Hutchinson 19 8 5 .918 2.34
O. Pavelec 13 13 7 .909 2.57
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