Chicago Blackhawks Re-Sign AHL Defenseman Ville Pokka in Hopes He Can Make the Lineup Next Season.
The Chicago Blackhawks have announced the signing of AHL defenseman Ville Pokka to a new one-year contract. Pokka spent last season with the Rockford IceHogs posting six goals, and 24 assists for 30 points in 76 games with 35 penalty minutes and a plus/minus of minus 25.
Pokka has been a project of the Blackhawks and he seems to be ready now after spending three seasons in the AHL. During those three years, Pokka has put up 24 goals, and 81 assists for 105 points in 220 games with 75 penalty minutes and a minus 25 rating. After the deal that sent Niklas Hjalmarsson to Arizona leaves a spot open on the blueline and Pokka as well as return player Connor Murphy will be battling it out for that last position.
The former second-round pick in 2012 by the Islanders, Pokka was dealt to the Chicago organization in 2014. Ville has also seen a ton of International play as well as success. In 2012-13, Pokka was awarded the best plus/minus of the U-20 World Junior Championship with a plus-ten rating, he also won top three players for his team in the same tournament.
In the 2013-14 Ville would go on to win the U-20 World Junior Championship Gold Medal for Finland and was also a Finnish Elite League Champion with Karpat. In 2014-15, Pokka made the AHL’s All-Rookie team and finally in 2015-16 he won a World Championship Silver Medal. So he’s proven he’s talented and can provide what’s needed no matter where he plays or the level. Now Chicago just has to put him in the lineup before he decides to explore free agency after the 2017-18 season.