Teravainen looking to earn a roster spot with Hawks

By Brian Heder
Special to the Daily Herald
Updated 9/18/2014 11:12 PM

SOUTH BEND -- The Blackhawks are taking a wait-and-see approach with top prospect Teuvo Teravainen during this training camp.

Teravainen, who recently turned 20, eschewed a return to Finland this summer in order to train in Chicago with Blackhawks strength coach Paul Goodman. Teravainen said during prospects' camp his goal is to make the NHL roster, but general manager Stan Bowman said nothing is guaranteed.


"I look at Teuvo like every other player, which is we're going to evaluate over the training camp and exhibition games and make the best decision for him in the short term and the long term," Bowman said Thursday at a news conference at Notre Dame's Compton Family Ice Arena. "We're not in the predicting business. Like (coach Joel Quenneville) always says, the players kind of sort that out for us by the way they play. So, I'm not walking into it with any expectations."

Neither is Quenneville, though he likes what he's seen from Teravainen this summer.

"He's progressed at a reasonable pace," Quenneville said. "He's got a lot of attributes that indicate he's going to be a really good player at our level. Like Stan said, we'll see how it plays itself out during camp, and he'll make the decision for us when is exactly the right time to start playing on a regular basis in our league. He's a high-end guy. He's got all of the attributes you look for in a player."

Oduya, Versteeg ready:

Bowman confirmed that defenseman Johnny Oduya is healthy and ready to start camp.

Oduya broke a bone in his foot in the third period of Game 7 of the Western Conference Final against the Los Angeles Kings. He took the summer to heal, and no surgery was necessary.

Bowman also said forward Kris Versteeg is looking forward to getting back on the ice after a full summer of training. Last summer, while still with the Florida Panthers, Versteeg spent most of the off-season rehabbing from knee surgery.

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"He feels much better than a year ago and he looks great, as well," Bowman said.

Barker's back:

Defenseman Cam Barker will start camp with the Hawks on an invitational basis. Barker, 28, played last season in the KHL and hopes to revive his NHL career. Barker, who broke into the NHL with the Hawks, was traded to the Minnesota Wild in 2010 in a deal that netted defenseman Nick Leddy's signing rights.

"Cam played his best hockey with Chicago, and he's trying to get his career back going," Bowman said. "I know he's trained really hard over the summer. He just wants a chance to see where he's at."

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