Teuvo Teravainen was in Finland when he got the call Wednesday, when he learned he had a new NHL team.
It was Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman, calling to say Teravainen and Blackhawks teammate Bryan Bickell had been traded to the Carolina Hurricanes. The price: a 2016 second-round and 2017 third-round draft pick.
“I was surprised, of course,” Teravainen said Thursday. “I knew Chicago had to do something. I didn’t think they would do it with me, but you never know what will happen.”
Chicago, needing some salary-cap relief, was looking to move Bickell’s $4 million cap hit. The Canes had the cap space and were willing to take Bickell, but also wanted Teravainen, a 21-year-old forward with offensive skills and versatility, a player who was the Blackhawks’ first-round pick in the 2012 NHL Draft.
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Teravainen, a Helsinki native, said he later spoke with Canes general manager Ron Francis, calling it a good, encouraging conversation.
“He said they were hoping to get me and excited about it,” Teravainen said. “He also told me they were interested in me at that (2012) draft.”
The Canes traded their first-round pick in 2012 to the Pittsburgh Penguins as part of the deal that brought Jordan Staal to Carolina. Now, the Canes also have Teravainen.
“It’s a new start for me,” Teravainen said. “Carolina has got a lot of great young players, so that’s exciting.”
Teravainen has a Stanley Cup ring and was instrumental in Chicao winning the 2015 championship with four goals and six assists in 18 playoff games.
“Winning a Cup was awesome, a dream come true for sure,” Teravainen said. “To be 20, to win a Cup, was unbelievable.”
Teravainen split the 2014-15 season between Chicago and the Rockford IceHogs, the Blackhawks’ AHL team, but played 78 games for the Blackhawks this past season. His final offensive numbers were modest -- 13 goals and 22 assists — but Francis and others believe he has the potential to become a productive top-six forward.
“Each year I feel like I’m getting better and taking one more step,” Teravainen said. “I think I had some good periods last season, and I had some ups and downs like everyone else.
“I’m an offensive forward who can make plays and tries to play smart. I thought my two-way game got better last year. I played a lot of different spots and in different situations. I played first line, fourth line. Played center, on the wing.”
Teravainen was drafted as a center but said he feels comfortable at center or on either wing. Francis said there is no set plan for Teravainen’s position for next season, saying that would be sorted out in training camp.
Teravainen will have some familiar faces in the Canes room. There’s Bickell but also Joakim Nordstrom, whom the Blackhawks traded to Carolina in September 2015.
The Canes once had Joni Pitkanen, Jussi Jokinen and Tuomo Ruutu, the three Finns, in the room. At training camp, Teravainen will be joined by Finnish forwards Sebastian Aho and Aleksi Saarela.
Teravainen said his offseason training would center on adding more size and strength. Listed at 5-11 and 178 pounds, he said he now weighs about 185 pounds.
“I want to keep getting better ever year,” Teravainen said. “Keep taking the next step.”