Rockford's Independent Newspaper

Transaction. Blackhawks trade Ville Pokka to Ottawa

ROCKFORD — The Chicago Blackhawks announced Thursday that they have traded defenseman Ville Pokka to the Ottawa Sentaors for center Chris DiDomenico.

DiDomenico will report to the Rockford IceHogs.

Pokka, 23, has amassed 22 points (4g, 18a) and a plus-3 rating in 46 games with the IceHogs this season. He ranks second on the team behind only AHL All-Star Carl Dahlstrom in both points and assists among Rockford defenseman this season, and trails only Darren Raddysh (5g) in goals among IceHogs blueliners.

The Tornio, Finland native made his pro debut with the IceHogs in 2014-15 and has spent each of his four AHL seasons with Rockford. Pokka is the IceHogs’ lone skater to appear in all 76 games during each of the last two campaigns, and overall, has combined for 127 points (28g, 99a) in 266 career AHL contests with the Hogs. He currently ranks first all-time among Rockford defensemen in games played, second in goals, third in points and fourth in assists.

Pokka was originally selected by the New York Islanders in the second round of the 2012 NHL Draft.

DiDomenico, 28, has split the 2017-18 season between the NHL and AHL levels, combining for 10 points (6g, 4a) in 24 NHL games with Ottawa, and 15 points (6g, 9a) in 28 AHL games with the Belleville Senators and Syracuse Crunch. The forward began the campaign with a career-high three-game point streak (2g, 3a) with Ottawa from Oct. 26-30 and scored goals in three of his final six NHL games from Feb. 3-13.

The Woodbridge, Ontario native was originally selected by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the sixth round of the 2007 NHL Draft. He made his professional debut with the IceHogs during the 2010-11 season and has since totaled 32 points (8g, 24a) in 102 career AHL games with Rockford (2010-12), Belleville (2017-18) and Syracuse (2017-18). DiDomenico also played two seasons with Asiago in Italy in and also parts of four seasons with the SCL Tigers of the Swiss Hockey League. He was a member of Team Canada’s Spengler Cup championship teams in 2015 and 2016. R.

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