Quick: name all the Finnish players on the Chicago Blackhawks.
Yeah, I love Teuvo Teravainen, too.
Of course, there are others - like Ville Pokka, in Rockford - and this will apply to them as well. You see, Finland is a conscription nation. All able-bodied Finnish men must serve at least six months in the military by the time they turn 30, and that practice applies to professional athletes.
Finnish reporter Juha Hiitelä tweeted that the Penguins' Olli Maatta - who's only a couple of weeks older than Teravainen - will begin his military service this off-season. He followed it up with a list of other young Finnish NHLers whose service still awaits them:
Other Finnish NHLers who have not yet done their service: Sasha Barkov, Rasmus Ristolainen, Teuvo Teräväinen, Erik Haula...— Juha Hiitelä (@jhiitela) March 15, 2016
Being a professional athlete matters not - it has to be done. But at least Finland helps out; the six months don't all have to be served at once, so professional athletes working overseas - like Teravainen - don't have to take any time off work to fulfill their obligations.
Hiitelä also notes a new problem that seems to be brewing for Finland:
This will be bigger issue in future years, when Finnish prospects are going to NHL at younger age than they used to be.— Juha Hiitelä (@jhiitela) March 15, 2016
Teravainen came over to North America when he was just 19. That's pretty early; to date, only 10 Finns have ever played in the NHL as teenagers - and six of them, including Teuvo, aren't any older than 21. Combine that with Jesse Puljujarvi and Patrik Laine expected to go extremely high in the NHL draft, and it's a whole new world for young Finnish hockey players.
For now? This is just a point of interest to keep an eye on in regards to Teravainen. At some point he'll go, probably split over a couple of off-seasons (though the Hawks' habit of playing until June does kind of complicate things a bit), and he'll have his choice to serve in the Finnish army, navy, or air force.
But spending your off-season completing military service for a peaceful country? That's not bad for a young professional athlete at all.