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updated: 8/22/2013 5:32 PM

Hawks agree to terms with Finnish draft pick

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  • Teuvo Teravainen, a winger from Finland, is a "special player," according to Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman. The Hawks signed the 18-year-old forward to a three-year deal.

      Teuvo Teravainen, a winger from Finland, is a "special player," according to Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman. The Hawks signed the 18-year-old forward to a three-year deal.
    Associated Press

 
 

When the Blackhawks made forward Teuvo Teravainen the 18th pick in the 2012 NHL draft, there were quick comparisons to Patrick Kane because of his size and skill level.

On Thursday, the Hawks signed the 5-foot-11, 169-pound Teravainen to a three-year, entry-level contract.

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According to what Hawks general manager Stan Bowman said at the team's prospects camp and then at the convention last month, the 18-year-old Teravainen oozes skill.

"We're really looking forward to having him in a Blackhawks uniform at some point because he's a special player," Bowman said at the prospects camp in July. "I think he's going to electrify fans for a long time."

Then, at the convention, Bowman again was asked about Teravainen.

"Teuvo, I think, is going to be a superb talent when he gets here," Bowman said.

When Teravainen actually plays for the Hawks is not known despite the fact he is signed. The plan now is for him to return for a third season in Finland's top pro league, SM-liiga, where he ranked fifth on Jokerit with a career-high 31 points in 44 regular-season games last season.

The Helsinki, Finland, native was the league's rookie of the year in 2011-12 after posting 18 points in 40 games.

It's rare that Bowman gushes over a prospect like he does with Teravainen.

"He had a very good season last year," Bowman said in July. "I think he's going to play a real big role on their team next year. I think he may be the top center on the team over in Jokerit this upcoming season. We're really pleased with his progress. I think he's gained some strength. He needed to get stronger and he still does. He's worked at it."

Teravainen didn't attend the Hawks' prospects camp while preparing to compete with Finland's Under-20 team at the U.S. national junior evaluation camp in Lake Placid, N.Y.

The Hockey News has ranked Teravainen as the Hawks' top prospect.

Also on Thursday, the Hawks announced their roster for the 2013 Rookie Tournament, which will take place at Budweiser Gardens in London, Ontario, from Sept. 5-8.

The team includes 22 players (13 forwards, seven defensemen and two goaltenders), and will be coached by Rockford's Ted Dent and assistant Mark Osiecki.

Hawks prospects will compete in three games against rookie teams from the Ottawa Senators, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Hawks' roster includes former first-round draft choices in defenseman Dylan Olsen (2009) and centers Mark McNeill (2011) and Phillip Danault (2011).

Center Drew LeBlanc, who played two games in the NHL last season with the Hawks, will also participate in the tournament along with winger Garret Ross.

LeBlanc won the Hobey Baker Award as the top player in college hockey last season with St. Cloud State.

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