If you follow hockey, you’ve likely seen–or even heard–his name at some point over the past 3 months. Teuvo Teravainen is finally in North America. Since his Jokerit team was knocked out of the playoffs in the Finnish SM-Liiga, the Blackhawks officially promoted Teravainen to their NHL squad. Should you pick him up for the playoff push in your redraft league or for the long haul in your keeper/dynasty league?
First off, this couldn’t come at a better time for the Blackhawks. They’ve all but officially wrapped up a playoff spot at 95 points–12 clear of 4th place Minnesota–with 12 games to a piece play as of Friday afternoon. Then of course there’s the injury to Patrick Kane that will keep him in the stands for the next 2-3 weeks. Really, the injury couldn’t come at a better time for the Hawks and worse time for his fantasy owners. It will get him some rest heading into the playoffs, but leave owners without one of their main scorers as fantasy playoffs are just getting under way.
It sounds like Teravainen will get a shot at some top 6 minutes in Chicago, but how many is the big question. He’s shown he can perform on big stages and has done nothing but improve across his 3 professional seasons in his home Finland. 15 points (2G, 13A) in 7 games at the World Junior Championships led all skaters, and just 5 other skaters hit double digits. His 3 seasons with Jokerit looked like this:
2011-12: 40 GP, 11G, 7A, 18 Pts
2012-13: 44 GP, 13G, 18A, 31 Pts
2013-14: 47 GP, 9G, 35A, 44 Pts
These stats show improvement, and one thing to note is that he played with and against numerous NHL players during the 2012-13 lockout. A sampling of players who spent some of that time in the SM-Liiga: Kevin Shattenkirk, Saku Koivu, Mikko Koivu, Derek Stepan, Kyle Turris, Erik Karlsson, Valtteri Filppula.
Teravainen is currently owned in 3% of Yahoo leagues, so it’s likely he’s yours for the taking if you want to pick him up, but should you? That kind of depends, and here’s how I’ll break it down:
Redraft league: Not unless you’re REALLY in need of a scorer for the playoffs. Even then, probably not. There are plenty of lesser names out there who are hot at the right time and whose coattails you can ride if you have a vacancy in your lineup.
Keeper league: Same as a redraft league. I don’t think he will have enough immediate (this season and next) value to warrant using a keeper slot on.
Dynasty league: Probably. There’s little doubt that Teravainen will contribute, but more a question of how long it will be until he contributes at a level where he’s valuable on your everyday roster. My guess is another year or 2 before he’s at that level, and on one of the highest scoring teams over the past few seasons, it will come sooner than later.