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Blackhawks Prospects

Chicago Blackhawks In Contract Talks With Ville Pokka

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Oct 1, 2015; St. Louis, MO, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Ville Pokka (17) controls the puck against the St. Louis Blues during the second period at Scottrade Center. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 1, 2015; St. Louis, MO, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Ville Pokka (17) controls the puck against the St. Louis Blues during the second period at Scottrade Center. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /
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Oct 1, 2015; St. Louis, MO, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Ville Pokka (17) controls the puck against the St. Louis Blues during the second period at Scottrade Center. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 1, 2015; St. Louis, MO, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Ville Pokka (17) controls the puck against the St. Louis Blues during the second period at Scottrade Center. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /

Scott Powers of the Athletic has reported that the Blackhawks are in contract talks with so to be Restricted Free Agent Ville Pokka. Pokka was acquired by the Blackhawks in the Nick Leddy trade back in 2014.

Since joining the Blackhawks, Pokka has been languishing away in Rockford. Despite being the top defensive prospect for several seasons, Pokka has not seemed to crack the NHL lineup. While Pokka excelled with Finland last year in the World Cup of Hockey, the Hawks did not have room for him last year.

At the trade deadline there were rumors swirling around that Pokka could be another change of scenery guy like former Hawks prospect Mark McNeil. However the Hawks chose to hang onto Pokka and it seems for good reason.

With all of that being said, Assistant Blackhawks GM Norm Maciver believes there is something there with Pokka. 

Best Chance for Pokka

This will be the best chance in a long time for Pokka to crack the NHL lineup with the Hawks. The Hawks should be walking away from Brian Campbell, Johnny Oduya, and trading away Trevor van Riemsdyk, which open the door for Pokka.

Pokka also is a right hand shot from the Blue line which the organization lacks. TVR  is probably gone which leaves the Blackhawks with only Brent Seabrook, and Michal Rozsival with right-handed shots.

Now Rockford will have Robin Press and recently signed Darren Raddysh who also have right handed shots. I expect that Pokka will be given a chance to make the Hawks out of training camp this season. He might even have an edge of over recently sign Jan Rutta.  Rutta has to adjust to the North American style of play and ice size after spending his whole career overseas. Pokka could even be ahead of Rozsvial to make the roster, however, he still behind Gustav Forsling on the depth chart.

If Pokka does not make the Blackhawks this season, I fully expect him to be traded.

Expansion Draft

Pokka is currently eligible to be selected by the Vegas Golden Knights in the expansions draft, however, the Chances are very slim.

The Hawks “have” a trade with Vegas for Marcus Kruger and TVR.

When the deal is completed, we will have all the details. Please stay tuned to Blackhawkup for all of your Blackhawks news.

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