The wait is nearly over.

After spending a few days getting adjusted to his new surroundings, highly touted 19-year old Finnish forward Teuvo Teravainen will make his NHL debut Tuesday night for the Chicago Blackhawks.

Teravainen will line up at center when Chicago hosts the Dallas Stars at United Center in a big game for both teams, and he's as fired up about it as Blackhawks fans.

"I've always been waiting and waiting for this opportunity," Teravainen said. "I don't know if I'm that nervous, but it's a big night coming and a win is all that matters. So I'll do the best I can. It's been [getting to know] the guys around here and being able to practice the last couple days. No jet lag anymore, so I'm ready to go."

The Blackhawks mixed up their line combinations during rushes at the morning skate, but Teravainen appeared to be skating primarily on the second line between left wing Brandon Saad and Ben Smith at right wing.
After playing mostly left wing last season in Finland, Teravainen played center this season in Liiga for Jokerit. Reports were good about his switch to the middle of the ice and the Blackhawks are eager to see if it translates to the NHL game.

Chicago has been searching for a long-term answer at center on its second line for several years, so the hope is Teravainen becomes the solution. Highly skilled wing Patrick Kane usually mans the right side of that unit, but he's out for the rest of the regular season with a lower-body injury.

Some have nicknamed Teravainen "The Finnish Kane," based on his playmaking ability and similar build (5-foot-11, 169 pounds), so it's not hard to envision a dynamic duo not too far away.

"We're happy to have him join our team and we look forward to seeing him play," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "He's got some ability. He's got some skills and he's got some speed. We'll play him at center and see how it works, but we're excited to have a good look at him here and give him an opportunity to play."

The Blackhawks are three points ahead of the Colorado Avalanche for second place in the Central Division and trail the St. Louis Blues by six points for the top spot. Every point is critical with 10 games left, but Quenneville wants to be careful not to put too much pressure on Teravainen.