The Blackhawks roster will be pretty much set when training camp opens on September 22nd but Teuvo Teravainen is working on making a big push this fall. The offseason signing of Brad Richards most likely puts Teravainen out of the mix for the second line center position, at least to start the season.
According to Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune , Teuvo has set up shop in Chicago and is working with strength and conditioning coach Paul Goodman. At only 5’11 and 180 pounds Teravainen realizes the need to get stronger to handle the day to day grind of the NHL.
He says that he feels “a lot bigger” than he was six weeks ago. Teuvo will have to use his speed and skates to make up for his lack of size, a la his future teammate Patrick Kane.
Teravainen’s progress will be one of the biggest stories of a training camp that will not have much to offer in regards to position battles. The 2012 1st round draft pick brought a lot of fanfare when he came to North American soil last spring but did not get much time with the big club.
He had zero points in his three NHL games and scored twice in five games for the Rockford IceHogs in the AHL.
There is no doubt Teravainen will be given a shot at a full time roster spot. The question remains when it will occur. The Blackhawks would love to give Teuvo some more time to adjust to the North American game in Rockford to start the year.
It is up to Teravainen to make that a more difficult decision come training camp. He also seems to be open to a position change which will increase his chances to stay in Chicago. “I don’t know what number center I’m going to be or a winger,” Teravainen said. “If you’re a really good player there’s always a spot for you. I just live day by day and I’ll go to the camp and I’ll play wherever they put me.”