Chicago Blackhawks Shopping Mark McNeil and Ville Pokka

By Sean Fitzgerald

The Blackhawks are once again looking to unload two former top prospects.  Scott Powers of the Athletic has reported that the Blackhawks are looking to move on from Mark McNeil and Ville Pokka. This would not be the first time that the Blackhawks have traded away prospects that not flourished in there system, examples being Brandon Pirri, Adam Clendening, and Jeremy Morin.

Mark McNeil

McNeil was the 18th pick of the Blackhawks in the 2011 NHL draft. He played in the WHL with the Prince Albert Raiders from 2008-09 to 2012-13. He appeared in 276 games, he had 97 goals and 146 assists. After being drafted by the Blackhawks, McNeil spent the majority of him in Rockford. He appeared in 273 games, he scored 72 goals and 85 assists. He has appeared in 1 NHL game during his tenure with the organization recording zero points.

The Hawks thought so highly of him that they placed him on waivers back in October. If he wasn’t having one of the worst years of his career, he would have been traded already.

Ville Pokka

The other player the Blackhawks are shopping is Ville Pokka. Second City Hockey, Satchel Page, ranked Pokka as third highest Blackhawks prospect in their mid season ranking. Pokka has never appeared in an NHL game with the Blackhawks. He has spent his entire tenure with the Rockford Icehogs. Pokka appeared in 202 AHL games and scored 76 goals, 98 assists.

Pokka was passed up by Gustav Forsling and Michal Kempny on the depth chart. With the defensive depth in the organization, it would benefit Pokka to change organizations.

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The Blackhawks might be looking for a Richard Panik Type player in return for Pokka and McNeil. Remember Panik was acquired for Jeremy Morin. However, they traded for Ryan Garbutt and Jiri Sekac, so you win some and lose some.

Shalunov coming over?

Maxim Shalunov is rumored to opting out his contract and joining the Blackhawks this season. Scott Powers and Satchel Page had reported Shalunov could join the Hawks in the future. The situation is Fluid according Aivis Kalniņš

Shalunov would be another great addition to the Blackhawks young core of players.