(CBS) Blackhawks first-liners Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa officially have their new running mate.
Second-year winger Teuvo Teravainen, 21, will join Toews and Hossa on the left side of Chicago’s top line, coach Joel Quenneville said Monday. While Quenneville has never been one to be afraid of shaking up his line, the hope is that Teravainen’s spot on the top line is a long-term move.
“He’ll play there to start the season,” Quenneville said, according to the Sun-Times. “Hopefully, all year.”
Teravainen’s a natural center, but Quenneville likes the explosiveness and skill he can bring to the top line. Teravainen will replace Brandon Saad, who became a star alongside Toews and Hossa before being traded to the Blue Jackets in the offseason as the Blackhawks faced a salary cap crunch.
As a rookie in 2014-’15, Teravainen had nine points (four goals, five assists) in 34 regular-season games. He broke out in the playoffs, recording 10 points (four goals, six assists) in 18 games.
Chicago opens its title defense Wednesday against the New York Rangers at the United Center, where the 2015 Stanley Cup championship banner will be raised. The team’s second line at practice Monday was Artemi Panarin-Artem Anisimov-Patriack. The third line was Bryan Bickell-Andrew Shaw-Kyle Baun, and the fourth line was Andrew Desjardins-Marcus Kruger-Ryan Garbutt.