The day the Hurricanes acquired Teuvo Teravainen will be a day many longtime Canes fans will remember fondly. I was at work, beginning that long summer lull without hockey. Free agency was weeks away. Big hockey news wasn’t on anyone’s radar. Then it happened. A tweet from some now-forgotten insider announcing the deal. Shock. Then the mass excitement-gasm from the collective of Hurricanes twitter happened and swelled into blissful hysteria. Um, how did we get a guy who by all rights should be untradeable? Teuvo time for us? Wide-eyed imaginings of rosters and line building followed. Then the Hurricanes app notification on the phone. Oh god, it’s really real. Not to mention that we got another, although short term, piece in Bryan Bickell. But of course, the shining, magical part of the trade is Teuvo Teravainen. We didn’t have to give up much for what may end up being one of those legendary, franchise building-block trades. We’ll never forget the day Teuvo was coming Raleigh.

Has time with Teuvo been as good as promised?

Folks, it’s been good. Real good. Chicago (and Artemi Panarin‘s emergence) did us a huge favor by using Teuvo in a third line role last season. Sure our boy didn’t rack up a ton of points (13 G, 22A) but he did quite well in that checking line role. His shot metrics were good, not out of this world, but solid. He also spent a decent amount of time on Chicago’s special teams. Both the penalty kill and power play. All in all, I’d guess that getting a lot of opportunity to play in different roles on a successful team did a great job of making Teuvo exactly what he’s been for us this season: versatile and dependable.

Bill Peters must love the kid. I really feel like he could be dropped into any role (maybe not goalie, maybe) and succeed. Winger, sure. Center, yep. The Canes aren’t using him in a penalty kill role, but he could fill in there too if necessary. He’s also a rock defensively.

Halfway into the season, he’s four goals and 10 assists from last year’s point totals. With Sebastian Aho rapidly gaining comfort at playing the NHL game, it’s not outrageous to look for a 20 goal/45 point season from Teravainen. I’d like to see him shoot more with that laser he can unleash.

He’s certainly not bad in the shot department at 5th on the team, but can slip into some long goalless stretches (note: he hasn’t scored in the 8 games since the Boston OT winner on 12/23, which was so very pretty).

Give me the Numbers.

The third line seasoning that Chicago gave Teuvo last season rounded him into a top tier defensive forward. That the Hurricanes can roll out two lines with Jordan Staal and Teuvo Teravainen as the centers is not only great for our defensive system play, but for the team’s hopes at a playoff run. Shockingly enough, in many defensive statistics, Teuvo outranks the dependable Staal.

Defensive MetricValue per hourTeam RankNHL Rank
Shot Attempts Against/6044.9718
Shots on Goal Against/6023.37213
Scoring Chances Against/606.10138
Expected Goals Against/601.871T-20
Goals Against/602.003186

5v5 data from corsica.hockey. Minimum 200 mins. played. Score/Venue adjusted.*

Putting up those numbers while contributing offensively is great news for the future of this team. Not a shocker, but I believe that the offensive side of Teuvo’s game goes hand-in-hand with Sebastian Aho’s gradual emergence as an NHL superstar. A projected 40 point season could easily turn into a 50-60 point season with an acclimatized Aho and perhaps a massively-sized prospect named Gauthier in the future.

Teuvo drives play as well. Take a look at the Hurricanes’ percent share of various metrics¬†when he’s out on the ice at 5v5 for the Hurricanes.

When Teuvo’s on ice*ValueTeam RankNHL Rank
Shot Attempts For%55.61242
Shots on Goal For%54.55482
Scoring Chances For%58.40345
Expected Goals For%57.35339
Goals For%50.196283

Great news for the Canes. When Teuvo (and Aho) are out there things are likely headed in the right direction.

Where do we go from here?

The Canes look to be headed in the right direction. The team (still) needs to add impressive scoring talent, but there is growth from within in that department. Beefy French Canadian prospects and tiny Finns will hopefully join forces in the not-to-distant future to propel this team back into the playoffs. At just 22 years old, Teuvo Teravainen should and could be a useful franchise player for the Hurricanes for a long time. Like¬†Aho, Teuvo is still improving and we are perhaps two or three seasons away from his peak. Imagine the incoming talent, savvy trades, and current talent growth that will occur in two-to-three seasons. Time to park your butts in seats in PNC, it’s going to be quite the show. Teuvo time will be long and full of W’s.

@Cane_alytics