One of the hardest names to say in the first round (though he's facing stiff competition on that from Zemgus Girgensons), Teravainen is interesting. Recently selected by the reborn Lokomotiv Yaroslavl in the KHL draft, though it's not clear if he's actually interested in playing in Russia, Teravainen actually started this season with Jokerit's under-20 branch, where he shredded them for 20 points in 11 games. Quickly promoted to the senior squad, where he spent the remainder of the season plus nine playoff games, he continued to contribute another 11 goals and 7 assists in the regular season plus a healthy amount of playoff scoring.
The more he's performed, the more his draft status has shot up, too. Where a lot of scouting services originally had him in the low 50-60s at the start of the year, some now list him in the top ten, while Hockey Prospectus has him as the #5 prospect overall in this draft, and the second best European player behind Filip Forsberg.
He has incredible hockey sense and vision, and is an extremely creative playmaker. Teravainen will attempt passes that most forwards don't even dream about, feathering pucks through sticks and legs and putting them on the tape of his teammates. He controls the play in the offensive zone often preferring to be a setup man working off the half boards. Teravainen also possesses a very hard and accurate one timer and often unleashes it from the top of the circle. He is especially effective on the Power Play. Teravainen has really worked to improve his skating. He always had good top end speed, but he's made great strides in improving his first step, his acceleration and his agility. Teravainen has shown that he is willing to take a hit to make a play, despite the fact he is often facing larger opponents.
Teravainen torched the Jr. A league early this season and quickly earned a call-up to Jokerit's senior team where he has been an admirable contributor. Teravainen is a very smart player who skates well and distributes the puck well on the attack. He's a good skater with an explosive first step and good agility. Teravainen's skill-set makes him a very valuable player on the powerplay as he is good in tight spaces and can be very dangerous when he has time and space. He is not overly big and doesn't have a physical aspect to his game but Teravainen looks like a nice pick around this range for a team who can wait for him to develop.
Why He'd Be A Good Fit In Columbus:
Mongoose quick, fantastic hands, loves challenges, great skater, and willing to get dirty and work in tight spaces, especially on the power play? He sounds like the Finnish Cam Atkinson, except that he's got just a bit more height...and unlike Atkinson, probably has a bit more to grow. Yeah, we could use a little more of that.
While he may not be the right guy for the #2 overall pick (though some scouts could probably make a case), he's certainly a good prospect to add to the team's offensive pipeline. I could see concerns about getting him to come over to North America - I'm not sure if his contract with Jokerit includes an NHL "out" clause. Personally, I don't take his KHL draft status too seriously - it hasn't been an issue for other NHL prospects, and let's not forget that CSKA Moscow supposedly has KHL draft rights to John Tavares due to taking him first overall back in 2009. If he needs to finish out his Jokerit contract, letting him play another year or two in Finland before looking at stepping into the NHL might not be the worst thing in the world, really. If this guy adds another inch or two in height and ~20-30 lbs. of muscle, he could be a real terror.
Keep an eye on Teravainen if his smaller frame and European contract scare off some scouts. He could easily be a late first round / early second round steal.
Teravainen In Action:
(Note: Fan made video may contain more than your daily recommended levels of Queen.)