After winning a Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks in his rookie season in 2015 — as part of a team that featured Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane — Teuvo Teravainen is returning to where it all started after signing a three-year, $16.2 million contract with the Hawks on July 1.

And the 29-year-old, who hasn't been able to replicate the same level of success with the Carolina Hurricanes, is looking forward to reuniting with the franchise that drafted him.

“It's awesome to be back,” the Finnish forward said earlier this week, per NHL.com's Tracey Myers. “I kind of knew they were a little bit interested, and also for myself, when I heard they were interested I was very interested. I had a few options, but I felt it's the right time for me right now, so excited. I know the city, I have good memories from there, so easy decision.”

Teravainen was selected No. 18 overall in the 2012 NHL Draft, and debuted in North America the next season. He bounced around with the Hawks and American Hockey League's Rockford IceHogs before transitioning to the big leagues for good in 2014-15.

After putting up nine points in 34 regular-season contests, he upped his game in the postseason, recording 10 points in just 18 games as the Hawks captured their third Stanley Cup in six seasons.

“I feel it was a long time ago, I was a different player back then,” he reflected on his brief time in Chicago, per Myers. “The whole game, [it’s about] taking a step and be better every year. [I spent] a long time in Carolina so I learned to play, how they play over there. It's been great years over there. I'm turning 30 now, and I should be older and a better player. Hopefully I can bring a little of everything, experience and all-around play.”

Teravainen was traded to the Hurricanes in June of 2016, and enjoyed a solid near decade playing in North Carolina. And the veteran still has some game, scoring a career-high 25 goals in 76 contests for the Canes in 2023-24.

Although he had great linemates in Raleigh — Sebastian Aho and Andrei Svechnikov especially — he probably hasn't played with a player as skilled as Connor Bedard since his days suiting up next to Kane on the Hawks nearly a decade ago.

Teuvo Teravainen looking forward to playing with Connor Bedard

Chicago Blackhawks center Connor Bedard (98) in action against the Los Angeles Kings during the third period at Crypto.com Arena.
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Although Philipp Kurashev enjoyed a terrific campaign next to Bedard last season, it's likely that Teravainen will either replace or join the youngster on the top line.

Bedard was phenomenal in his maiden season despite breaking his jaw, putting up 61 points in his first 68 NHL games and winning the Calder Trophy as the league's rookie of the year.

“I haven't seen him play much but of course I've seen all the highlights. Seems like a pretty good player,” Teravainen said with a smile. “Young for sure, but hopefully I can help him get better. That would be cool to play with him.”

It seems very likely that that will happen, and with a few other key additions to the roster — like Tyler Bertuzzi, Pat Maroon, Alec Martinez and TJ Brodie — the Blackhawks should take a big step forward in 2024-25.