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updated: 3/21/2014 7:23 PM

Hawks not expecting miracles from Teravainen

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  • Teuvo Teravainen, a winger from Finland, pulls on a Blackhawks cap after being chosen 18th overall in the 2012 NHL draft. Teravainen, 19, will see his first action with the Hawks soon because of Patrick Kane's knee injury.

      Teuvo Teravainen, a winger from Finland, pulls on a Blackhawks cap after being chosen 18th overall in the 2012 NHL draft. Teravainen, 19, will see his first action with the Hawks soon because of Patrick Kane's knee injury.
    Associated Press

 
 

You call him Tee-vo, you call him Tay-vo, or you can even call him Tayowka, his nickname in Finland.

It's alright.

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Teuvo Teravainen has heard 'em all.

"Tivo, Tyvo, Toovo ... it's OK," Teravainen said with a smile while reacquainting himself with the Chicago media after Friday's morning skate.

But whatever you call him, just don't call the 19-year-old Finnish center, who will see his first action with the Blackhawks sometime over the next couple of games, a savior.

"What we want to be cautious about is, he's a 19-year-old kid. He's not coming in here to carry the team," general manager Stan Bowman said. "We have high hopes for him in the future, but this is more of an experience for him to come in and see what the NHL's all about."

But with all the buildup surrounding the Hawks' 2012 first-round pick -- including a sterling performance in the World Championships -- that may be easier said than done for a fan base that's been salivating over Teravainen's impending arrival.

"We're trying to be aware that there's a lot of excitement around him and understandably so, but he's just another player on our team and it's a team sport," Bowman said. "We're trying to be cautious with that."

After a late arrival in town, Terravainen, sporting sweater No. 86, hit the ice for the morning skate about 10 minutes after his teammates. Afterward, he downplayed the feeling he has to perform in a big way right away.

"Of course there are big expectations and pressure, but I don't think of those too much," said Teravainen, who had 9 goals and 35 assists in 49 games with Jokerit. "Just play and I think everything I do here is bonus. I'm just trying to have fun."

His new coach likes the way the youngster is thinking.

"I don't want to put that much pressure or expectations on him," said Joel Quenneville, who hinted he might insert Teravainen into the lineup either Sunday against Nashville or Tuesday against the Stars. "I just think he could be a special player in our league. Offensively he has a great set of skills as far as puck possession and recognition of plays.

"The reports are that he's progressed in the areas that he's going to need to as a young player. He's gotten stronger in the puck area, and defensively he's gotten responsible.

"I'm sure that's always going to be a work in progress, but the things he does offensively are things you can't teach. And I think we look forward to seeing how that all plays out."

As for going past that magic 10-game threshold with Teravainen this year, which would burn the first of three years on his entry-level contract, Bowman said that's not a factor.

"Yeah, that's not a focus. If Teuvo's here and helping us, I mean, it's not a factor at all," Bowman said.

"I think sometimes you can get caught up in that, but for us, whether he plays two games, 10 games, 20 games ... that's not a factor."

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