Teuvo Teravainen’s effort from the past week or so resulted in him being named the first star of the week by the NHL on Monday.
It was a well-deserved honor, as at the time of his award, Teravainen had put up 10 points (5 goals and 5 assists) in his past 4 games. In the two games since, the 23-year-old Finn has put up an assist in each, extending his point streak to six games now.
The exact breakout that general manager Ron Francis had to have been envisioning when he acquired the young winger from the Chicago Blackhawks is starting to come to fruition.
For Carolina to be a successful franchise moving forward, they were going to need to see growth from some of their younger forwards. With Victor Rask mired in a terrible funk and Elias Lindholm playing well but unspectacularly, Teravainen has been that guy for the Canes in the early going.
But for Teravainen, there are some reasons to believe that this isn’t just a short one-off run and may actually be something that we could come to expect out of him.
His underlying numbers place him among the most prolific and effective forwards on the whole roster and throughout the entire league.
His 2.4 primary points per 60 minutes rank 13th in the entire NHL among forwards who have played at least 200 minutes. The two guys right ahead of him are Auston Matthews and Patrick Kane. Some of the names right behind him include Alex Ovechkin, Steven Stamkos, and John Tavares.
His corsi for percentage of 58.13% is 8th among all skaters with the same 200 minute qualifying criteria. It’s only the third best mark on his team, though. His expected goals share of 54.82% lags behind his corsi share in a way that he’ll want to remedy, but it’s still very good.
Perhaps most important of all in Teravainen’s breakout has been an increased willingness to shoot the puck over last year. This is a situation where watching the player play brings some value. I think the general consensus with Teravainen was a certain sense of trigger-shyness through a good chunk of last year and part of the beginning of this one.
In his first six games this year, Teravainen put 18 shots on net, which is really good. However, in the stretch between that one and his current point streak, he put just just 9 on the net in 9 games. In his past six games, he has 21 shots on goal. That’s really good, and if he can have more stretches like the first one and the more recent one than like that one in the middle, the Hurricanes will be really happy with what they get out of him.
The other key factor in Teravainen’s continued success will be the continuation of the good work that his line with Jordan Staal and Sebastian Aho has done in recent weeks. That trio, when on the ice together, has posted a 56.28% corsi share, a 58.17% expected goals share, and 64.29% goals share. They’re a legitimate first line, and the skill that the two wingers have combined with the play-driving ability possessed by Staal makes them extremely difficult to defend against.
So for Teravainen, it comes down to shooting more and playing on a dominant line. When both of those things are happening, there’s no reason to believe that he won’t be able to consistently produce points the way that he has been lately.
All statistics via Corsica.hockey unless otherwise noted.