The Chicago Blackhawks announced today that they have agreed to terms with defenseman Ville Pokka (VIHL-ee POH-kuh) on a one-year contract that runs through the 2017-18 season.
Pokka, 23, paced all Rockford IceHogs defensemen in points for the second straight season after he registered 30 (6G, 24A) during the 2016-17 season. He is the only member of the club to appear in all 76 regular-season games each of the last two seasons.
The Tornio, Finland, native was named Rockford's Best Defenseman during the 2015-16 campaign after setting career highs in goals (10), assists (35) and points (45). In 220 career AHL games spanning across three seasons, all with Rockford, he has tallied 105 points (24G, 81A). The blueliner was named to the AHL's All-Rookie Team in 2014-15. He won a silver medal with Finland at the 2016 IIHF World Championship and represented his country at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
Pokka was acquired by the Blackhawks in a trade with the New York Islanders on Oct. 4, 2014. He was originally selected by the Islanders in the second round (34th overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft.