Teuvo Tervainen, Right Wing (Left) Jokerit, SM-Liiga 5'11" 165 Pounds, 9/11/1994
Supremely skilled player with high end hockey sense...tremendous skating ability; lateral agility, quickness, sense of pace, acceleration make him elusive...elite playmaking ability shines as he can control the pace of play...creates his own shots...despite size will go into high traffic areas after pucks...has the ability to stickhandle through traffic but won't necessarily do it time after time...shot isn't overly heavy but has elite release and accuracy...one of the youngest members in 2012 Draft Class, a few days removed from being 2013 eligible...needs strength in order to win more leverage battles against stronger competition, but still asserted himself well playing in Finland's top Mens League...competes in both ends, comes back to defend and backcheck...able to spin off checks...showed a tendency to play more of a perimeter style game...some reports of showing disinterested play late into season...higher offensive upside than Filip Forsberg...draws in opponents only to pass off to open teammates...added strength will help in terms of battling along the boards and positioning.
Why Teravainen at 7?:
Dan: Well, outside of Nail Yakupov, Alex Galchenyuk, and Mikhail Grigorenko (whom I believe does not fit the makeup of the type of player that Minnesota looks for), Teuvo Teravainen has the most offensive upside in the Draft- not only that, but he's come on huge this season as one of the youngest draft-eligible players. That is huge in terms of measuring his development curve against others, many of whom are early 1994 birthdates. He's got high end hockey sense, succeeded against older competition and dominated in his age group, he competes, and as far as I know, has good character. Like Sebastian Collberg, and like the Granlunds, Larssons, Brodins, Gustafssons, et al, Teravainen fits the mold. Its easy to look at the depth chart and see that the number of blueline prospects are lacking in comparison to the forwards, and that there is a pressing need; however one simply cannot pass up an elite offensive talent like Teravainen for the sake of filling a hole in the organizational pipeline. There will always be the superficial size concerns, but he's shown he can thrive playing a man's game despite being a still physically immature 17 year old. The only problem with Teuvo Tervainen is this- he may not even be available when pick #7 rolls around.
Nate: The top Finnish forward in the draft who spent the season playing against men...this sounds familiar. It is impossible to not think of Mikko Koivu or Mikael Granlund when it comes to Teuvo Teravainen - he did play for Granlund's rival Jokerit - and in some sense they are similar with elite playmaking and an accurate shot. Maybe it's a Finnish thing but Teravainen does step out on his own being one of the high-end scorers in this Draft (something Minnesota can use in their system despite the plethora of forwards). Size will always be a concern but the offensive skill and hockey sense Teuvo maintains makes him an intriguing pick for any team in the #3-10 range regardless of nationality.