According to Scott Powers of The Athletic, Ville Pokka has signed a one-year contract with the Chicago Blackhawks. No financial details were released, though it certainly couldn’t be very expensive seeing as Pokka has yet to make his NHL debut.
With the Blackhawks still currently over the cap for next season, using players like Pokka on extremely cheap deals will be paramount to their success next season. Whether he’s ready to make his NHL debut or not, it’s likely that he will at some point next season. A restricted free agent now, Pokka is still two years away from using Group VI free agency should the Blackhawks not give him a chance in the NHL.
Registering impressive point totals in the AHL, the 34th-overall selection from 2012 still has impressive upside. It’s his all-around game that hasn’t been refined enough to trust with NHL minutes, but sooner or later the team will need to try.
The Blackhawks have signed a number of their restricted free agents, and let a number of them go to free agency without issuing a qualifying offer. Dennis Rasmussen, originally believed to have been issued one has apparently not, and will become a UFA on July 1st.