The Carolina Hurricanes have one of the most underrated one-two punches in the league. Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen are two of the game’s best young stars, with Aho leading the dynamic Finnish duo. This leaves Teravainen, a former 18th overall pick of the Chicago Blackhawks, to play in Aho’s shadow. This doesn’t undervalue his play by any means, but it makes him the default second in command for the Hurricanes.
There are plenty of teams with fantastic number two guys for their roster. This begs the question: how does Teravainen stack up to the rest of the league’s second-best players?
How Does Teuvo Teravainen Stack up To Other Number Two Players?
Defining a Number Two Guy
A player under this category is typically equal or slightly less-skilled than the team’s top guy. However, that doesn’t limit the player to underperforming in comparison to their counterpart. A great example of this is Leon Draisaitl to Connor McDavid on the Edmonton Oilers. It’s pretty clear that McDavid is the preferred player for most people in the hockey community. This season, however, Draisaitl proved that he was a dominant force on his own. That doesn’t make him the number one guy in Edmonton, however. A lot of it has to do with the advertising of the player, on top of their relative skill to their teammates. For example, Gabriel Landeskog might have a ‘C’ on his jersey, but it’s very apparent he isn’t the top guy for the Colorado Avalanche. Now that we know what it is we’re talking about, let’s take a look at Teuvo’s counterparts across the league.
Leon Draisaitl, Edmonton
Draisaitl’s tied for the highest-drafted German player at third overall in 2014. He’s got a Hart trophy to his name, a Ted Lindsay Award, and one Art Ross Trophy all at the ripe age of 24. He’s transitioned nicely from playing the wing to being a top 15 centre in the league. Oh, and he’s on the team’s second line and was able to top his previous season’s point total playing away from McDavid. The best asset of his game is, without a doubt, his offensive awareness. The past two seasons he’s been in the running for the Rocket Richard Trophy, proving his goal-scoring touch. He has great vision on the ice too, as his assist totals have been trending up since his first full season in the league.
A 110-point campaign as a number two guy behind McDavid? That’s hard to match. But, looking at the two players, they have similar aspects. Teravainen may not be able to put pucks behind goalies as efficiently as Draisaitl can, but he can certainly provide a key pass or, say, 50-plus to make up for it. He’s the perfect complement to a goal-machine like Andrei Svechnikov or Aho, which certainly helps his overall production and development. With those weapons at his disposal, Teravainen could put up a 90 point campaign in the future. All in all, however, it’s fair to say that Draisaitl is on another level in comparison to Teravainen.
Bo Horvat, Vancouver
Bo Horvat might not be the first name that comes to mind when you think of the second-in-command to the Swedish phenom that is Elias Pettersson. The most likely names you think of are Brock Boeser or Quinn Hughes. However, Horvat is making that name for himself quite well. He was named captain at the start of the 2019-20 season at the age of 25 and followed it up with a 53 point season with the pace to set a career-high in points and assists. It might not seem like it, but the young centre is the team’s anchor down the middle. Without his ability to win face-offs as he does, borderline-elite offensive touch, the hustle to get back and defend in his own end, the Vancouver Canucks wouldn’t be half as stable as they are with him playing.
Teravainen and Horvat are very similar in a lot of ways. Both have the discipline to their games to be top-tier talent on their respective rosters. Their offensive awareness is what draws eyes to their games, but both have the overall hockey IQ to be valuable in all elements of their game. Teravainen is the complement to the offensive weapons on his team. Horvat plays a similar role in a top-six forward group that has some of the fastest and youngest stars in the league. Teuvo might not have the shutdown skill that Bo has, but they can be interchangeable in their roles if swapped.
Jonathan Huberdeau, Florida
Jonathan Huberdeau is the next player up to be used as the ‘most underrated forward in the league’ title. He put up 69, 92, and 78 points the past three seasons in the league. He is a bright spark for a Florida Panthers franchise that has been the butt of many jokes among the hockey community. He’s purely an offensive player to complement the two-way dominant force that is Aleksander Barkov, and he fits perfectly. Like Teravainen, the best aspect of his game is his passing ability and the threat on the wing he provides. Huberdeau could go a season without scoring a goal and still put up 60 points that season.
Out of the three names Teuvo has been compared to, Huberdeau is practically a carbon copy of Teravainen. Giver or take some size differences that favours Huberdeau, the two of them fill their team’s elite-passer role perfectly and are only trending upwards.
Mikko Rantanen, Colorado
A fellow Finn, Mikko Rantanen is what Teravainen could be at his best. A borderline point-per-game player, a thirty goal scorer, and a top-line threat to any team. Rantanen may only be two years younger, but his game has been much more complete than Tervainen’s has the past three seasons. Playing on a line with Nathan MacKinnon definitely helps his production, but he’s able to hold his own as well. If Teravainen were to add the ability to net 30 goals to his toolkit, he would be instantly better than he already is. Until then, however, Rantanen takes the cake between the two.
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