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3 Stars of the Week: Pokka party in Rockford

by Emerald Gao / Chicago Blackhawks

Each Monday, the Blackhawks Blog will highlight prospects who stood out for their minor-league, junior, college, or European teams in the previous week’s action. All prospect stats will be updated weekly throughout the 2015-16 season.

(Photo courtesy Rockford IceHogs)

1st Star: D Ville Pokka, Rockford (AHL)
The Line: 2GP, 1G, 2A

Pokka’s play has been a big reason the Rockford IceHogs are on an eight-game point streak, righting the ship after dropping three of their first four contests this season. The 21-year-old contributed one assist in Friday’s 4-1 win over Grand Rapids; he added another on Saturday against Milwaukee, then scored his first goal of the season to tie the game at 2-2 before the team ultimately lost in overtime. Pokka leads team defensemen and shares the overall team lead (among current roster players) with seven points in 12 games this season; he also leads the club with 29 shots on goal.

(Photo courtesy Miami University Athletics)

2nd Star: C Anthony Louis, Miami University (NCHC)
The Line: 2GP, 1G, 2A

Louis had a breakout weekend for the RedHawks, posting three points to help the team sweep a two-game set against Western Michigan. The 2013 sixth-round pick assisted on both of Miami’s goals in a 2-1 win on Friday, then tallied his first of the season on the power play for the game-winner on Saturday. Louis paces the team with five helpers and 35 shots on goal and shares second with six points in 10 games this season.

(Getty Images)

3rd Star: LW Graham Knott, Niagara (OHL)
The Line: 2GP, 1G, 2A

Chicago’s 2015 second-round selection picked up points in both of Niagara’s wins last week. Knott notched an assist in a 5-4 win over Windsor on Thursday and added a goal—the game-winner—and assist in a 5-1 victory against Peterborough on Saturday. Knott now has nine points (3G, 6A) in 17 games this season and ranks second on the team with 96 faceoff wins and 196 total draws.

Honorable mentions: LW Fredrik Olofsson, Nebraska–Omaha (NCHC); LW Brandon Mashinter, Rockford (AHL)

Olofsson scored two goals over the weekend for Nebraska–Omaha, including the game-winner on Friday—to help the Mavericks win a pair against Minnesota-Duluth. The 2014 fourth-rounder now has seven points (4G, 3A) in 10 games in his first NCAA season.

Rockford’s captain had a big week, notching a goal and two assists in two games. Mashinter picked up two helpers in the IceHogs’ 4-1 win on Friday, then opened the scoring the next evening against Milwaukee with his fourth goal of the season. He shares the team lead with seven points in 12 games.

Around the system:

  • Dylan Sikura logged a career-high three points (1G, 2A) for Northeastern in a 5-4 loss at Boston University. The 2014 sixth-round pick now leads the Huskies with six points (2G, 4A) in nine games to begin his sophomore campaign... Beau Starrett tallied his first NCAA goal in his third game for Cornell, helping the Big Red defeat Princeton 4-3 and extend their win streak to five games to begin the season.

  • Ryan Hartman picked up where he left off in the AHL after being reassigned from the Blackhawks; the 2013 first-round pick scored for the fourth straight game on Friday, then added a helper the next night to extend his point streak to five games (4G, 2A)... Bryan Bickell made his first appearance with the IceHogs for the first time since 2010 and notched a goal and an assist in two games over the weekend... Corey Tropp collected a goal and an assist for the Albany Devils in a 4-0 win over Hartford on Saturday.

  • Defenseman Nolan Valleau tallied his first professional goal for Rockford on Friday. The 22-year-old Michigan native has three points in 12 games in his first AHL season... Kyle Cumiskey, a 2015 Stanley Cup champion, made his first appearances for Rockford last week after missing the first few weeks with an injury; he logged an assist on Friday... Michael Leighton made a season-high 40 saves on 41 shots against Grand Rapids to record his sixth win of the season and his 199th career AHL victory.
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