The Chicago Blackhawks reportedly placed defenseman Ville Pokka on waivers Friday, and the team can breathe a sigh of relief on Saturday.
That’s because Pokka went unclaimed on the waiver wire, according to The Athletic’s Scott Powers. The Finnish-born defenseman scored six goals and added 24 assists a season ago for the Rockford IceHogs, and now that he’s cleared waivers it seems as though he will be sent back to the minor league team for a fourth season.
In his AHL career, Pokka has 24 goals and 81 assists, but he was unable to crack the Blackhawks’ blue line despite a lot of turnover among their defenseman corps.
The Blackhawks still have ten defensemen left on their training camp roster, including Michal Rozsival, Jordan Oesterle, Jan Rutta, and Luc Snuggerud. The team will likely carry seven or eight blue liners to start the season, meaning that players like Rutta and Oesterle could very well make the team out of camp.
The team will play its final preseason game against the Boston Bruins on Saturday night at the United Center, with puck drop scheduled for 7:30 p.m.