Last year, Pittsburgh native Brandon Saad slid into the second round of the 2011 Draft — and into a Chicago Blackhawks jersey. This has been seen as the steal of that draft.
This year in Pittsburgh, Saad helped the Blackhawks welcome another player who slid down the draft and into the team’s lap, center Teuvo Teravainen.
Many scouts had Teravainen listed to go in the top five, so when he still had not been picked up by the time the Blackhawks were to pick 18th, they were smart to jump at that chance. It seems as if his size (5’11”, 165 lbs.) might have been a factor that led him to fall so far. However, his speed and patience with the puck could more than make up for this.
According to Hockey’s Future:
Teuvo Teravainen’s stock for the 2012 NHL Draft has risen faster than he can skate a lap around an international-sized ice rink. And if we are to believe what scouts are saying about the latter, that’s faster than most of the prospects available in this year’s crop of future hockey stars.
He also helped his cause by dominating the U-18 Five Nations tournament in February with six goals and two assists in three games played. Other reasons for his rapid rise include an already big-league shot, speed that may make him the fastest skater in the draft and hockey sense and creativity that simply cannot be taught.
He was SM-Lilga’s Rookie of the Year as part of Jokerit, where most people expect him to return next year before he makes the jump to North America.
As Jeff Marek said, this could be the best pick of the 2012 Draft. Only time will tell, but as for now, it looks like the Blackhawks might have pulled off a steal for the second straight draft.