As we mosey along towards the top ten, we check in on Teuvo Teravainen at number 12. Like many of this year’s European prospects, Teravainen has had experience beyond his years in his home country. For the 2011-2012 season, Teravainen played 40 games for Jokerit in Finland’s SM-Liiga, scoring 11 goals and 18 points to go along with 6 penalty minutes. He made his real impact in the SM-Liiga playoffs, however, averaging 15 minutes of ice-time, scoring a plus-6 rating and 6 points in six games as Jokerit made a run to the semi-finals before finishing with a bronze medal.
Teravainen also skated for Finland’s U18 World Junior Championship team, potting 2 goals and 6 assists in six games. His Finnish team placed fourth after being defeated by Canada in the bronze medal game.
Weight: 161 pounds
Position: Left Wing
Born: September 11, 1994
What People In The Know Know
A dynamic playmaker who has the “vision thing”, i.e. attempting passes that other forward lack the creativity to try. Fred Poulin went this far on The Hockey Writers: “The talented winger is blessed with a great hockey sense, top-notch puck skills and great skating abilities similar to Pavel Datsyuk.”
He’s also been known as an asset on the power play given his passing, ability to control tempo and underrated one-timer. Plus, he played among men over in Finland; Victor Hedman’s stock was similarly raised coming out of Sweden.
He’s listed at 5-11 and 165 pounds, and the thought is that he needs to be stronger if he’s going to be an effective NHL player — essentially he’s a perimeter player at this point. He also needs some improvement on the defensive side of the ice.
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.
Scouts praise his hands, which are among the quickest and shiftiest in the draft. Though he’s small in stature, he uses his speed and puckhandling to weave in and around big defenders. He’s a creative playmaker and has a blistering release on his shot, making him particularly dangerous from inside the top of the faceoff circles.
Slender Finns from Toni Rajala to Teemu Pulkkinen have come out of recent drafts with varying success.
But scouts don’t sound worried about Teravainen.
“Not the biggest, but one of the most skilled players in the draft,” said a scout. “Creativity is top-end and the scoring touch is there. A shifty player.”
He dominated junior and earned a promotion to the SM-Liiga, where he still produced against older competition. One of his real statements came at the Five Nations tournament in Pori, Finland, where he helped Suomi to the final and opened the scoring before the team fell to rival Sweden. Teravainen had a hat trick against the Czechs earlier in the tourny.
“Good skater, good offense, good touch,” said another scout. “His size is a little bit of a question, but the upside outweighs that.”
The left winger also got off to a great start for Jokerit in the post season during a sweep of HIFK
From The Horse’s Mouth
Teravainen comes highly touted with the only real knock against him being his size. However in a league where players like Martin St.Louis and Jeff Skinner can not only succeed, but thrive, because of their skills; there is little worry for Teravainen based on his proven scoring touch.
Scouts love his hands and love his ability to get the puck where it needs to be and his size shouldn’t keep him from slipping in the draft. He is currently ranked second amongst European skaters by NHL Central Scouting and it wouldn’t shock me at all to see Teravainen find his way into the top 10 in the draft. The bottom of the top 10, to be sure, but a potential top 10 pick nonetheless.