On Friday night, eight of the first 10 first-round draft picks were defenseman before the Chicago Blackhawks 18th overall selection. But when the 18th overall pick rolled around, an asset still remained on the board.
While I was bummed that Stan Bowman passed up on Olli Maata, Teuvo Teravainen is a player that is tough to ignore. Maata ended up going to the Penguins as the host team had a killer draft.
He does not come without questions marks. For instance it is very interesting that the 'Hawks would elect to pick another undersized, skill forward when that is the one thing they seem to possess the most and need the least right now. But again, the draft is for the future and not necessarily the present.
As I mentioned, a solid two-way defenseman Olli Maata, was still around, and there were also rumblings that the 'Hawks would go with a goaltending option in Malcolm Subban or Andrei Vasilevski. Those players and perhaps a muscular winger seem to be the team needs as of right now.
Teravainen played this past season for Jokerit in Helsinki where the Finn posted 11 goals and seven assists in 40 games. That's not bad for his first pro season and who knows if he'll be ready to make the jump to the NHL as soon as next year. His 5'11", 165-pound frame may suggest that he needs to wait a bit before doing so.
But in TSN's final, June draft rankings, they had Teravainen ranked seventh overall. Few, including Stan Bowman would have believed that he would have dropped to the 18th spot. And if you read his TSN profile, he kind of sounds like Patrick Kane. Does that mean that Bowman is shopping Kane around?
Maybe, but I'm probably getting way too excited.
He has great hands, is very patient with the puck and has tremendous hockey sense. He certainly sounds like a player that Stan and his father Scotty would be interested in.
Of course, it is easy to sit here and ask, "Is this really the type of player we want right now?"
But hopefully the 'Hawks brass will have a plan for this young man, and one that will include bringing in help, in essentially every other area where the 'Hawks truly need assistance.
More before the end of the weekend.