Carolina Hurricanes: The Emergence of Turbo Time

Teuvo Teravainen #86, Carolina Hurricanes (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Teuvo Teravainen #86, Carolina Hurricanes (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The Carolina Hurricanes acquired number 86 in a trade with Chicago on June 15th, 2016, but how has the young Finn done in his time in Carolina?

There’s a lot to be said about Teuvo Teravainen. People who do not watch the Carolina Hurricanes consistently state that Teuvo is a product of Sebastian Aho when realistically it’s the other way around. Teravainen’s all-around game often allows Aho to flourish in the way he does. However, it’s not always been easy going for the two during their time in Carolina.

Teravainen was acquired in a cap dump from the Blackhawks when Carolina took on Bryan Bickell‘s deal. Despite putting up 42 points in his first year as a Hurricane, there were a lot of questions regarding Teravainen’s shooting and positioning offensively without the puck. He never found himself in goal scoring positions was his main criticism.

It turns out you don’t need to be in prime scoring areas if you can pass a puck like Teuvo can. It quickly became obvious that Teravainen isn’t a scorer, he’s just one of the best playmakers in Carolina Hurricanes history.

Over just 4 years as a Hurricane, he has recorded 171 assists. That’s an average of 42 assists per year. That’s more assists than any Hurricane not on his line this year had pointed.

What a lot of fans overlook with Teravainen, Caniacs or others, is his ability to play the defensive side of the game.

Teravainen is not only a phenomenal playmaker, but he’s also the defensive mind on his line, which allows Carolina’s star talent finishers to dictate games. He’s the grease that makes the cogs run with Aho and Andrei Svechnikov. It’s just fun to watch them work together.

Another thing Teravainen doesn’t get enough appreciation for doing is power-play quarterbacking. People always expect the QB on a power-play to be a defender, but you’d do really well to find a top unit power-play goal Teravainen did not play a vital role in. Everything that works on the 1st unit runs through Teuvo, not someone like Aho or Svechnikov.

So, I’ve provided an argument to show Teravainen as being the most underrated forward on the team by both Canes fans and neutrals, but I do feel obligated to play devil’s advocate.

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Teravainen’s assist totals wouldn’t be so high without the great talent levels of Aho and Svechnikov beside him. That does apply to all three of them, they’re better together than alone, but it still needs to be said.

It’s also worth noting that although Teravainen does have 171 assists as a Hurricane, he only has 74 goals. His pass-first game doesn’t often leave him with goals galore, despite having a fantastic shot he just doesn’t utilize. Although this suggests Teuvo has the possibility of being better than he already is, it’s difficult to change that kind of mindset after 6 years in the NHL.

If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. So there is no need for him to adjust more than possibly take the shot in certain conditions.

So, all in all, Teravainen’s truly becoming a fantastic player. There’s a case to be made about him being the most essential forward on the team, but there are also questions regarding his true skill level given his line-mates. Can Teuvo carry a line on his own? Chances are he can, but he’s already fantastic with his current line-mates and that’s all you can really ask for right?

Question for Cardiac Cane readers: How good is Teuvo Teravainen to you?

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