Blackhawks trade defenseman Ville Pokka to Senators


Blackhawks trade defenseman Ville Pokka to Senators

Ville Pokka was once a prized acquisition for the Blackhawks, coming to Chicago from the New York Islanders in a trade for former Blackhawks defenseman Nick Leddy. Less than four years later, Pokka is on the move, with no games played in a Blackhawks sweater.

Thursday, the Blackhawks traded Pokka, 23, to the Ottawa Senators for forward Chris DiDomenico. DiDomenico will report directly to the Rockford IceHogs, the Blackhawks' AHL affiliate.

DiDomenico, 28, played in 74 games with the IceHogs from 2010-2012, scoring 17 points (two goals, 15 assists). He then played with Asiago in Italy from 2012-14 before playing parts of four seasons with the SCL Tigers in the Swiss Hockey League from 2014-17.

The Blackhawks originally acquired DiDomenico and Viktor Stalberg from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for Kris Versteeg in June 2010. He has played just 24 games with the Senators this season, tallying 10 points (six goals, four assists). Prior to this season, he had just three games of NHL experience, all with the Senators in 2016-17.

Blackhawks emergency goaltender Scott Foster made his return at the NHL Awards to present the Vezina Trophy, and it was perfect

Blackhawks emergency goaltender Scott Foster made his return at the NHL Awards to present the Vezina Trophy, and it was perfect

After staying out of the public eye since his historic emergency relief appearance, Scott Foster emerged in Vegas at the NHL Awards and it was perfect. 

The 36-year-old accountant fittingly presented the Vezina Trophy award for the league's top goaltender and joked that he needed to speed it up because he had to get back to work.

Check him out on stage:

What a moment. And well done, NHL. 

Foster stopped all seven shots he faced in 14:01 of action in the Blackhawks' 6-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets on March 30.

Nashville Predators netminder Pekke Rinne took home the award, but you can't argue against Foster's 1.000 career save percentage.

NHL Draft Profile: D Noah Dobson

NHL Draft Profile: D Noah Dobson

From June 17-21, Charlie Roumeliotis will profile two prospects per day — 10 total (five forwards, five defensemen) — leading up to the NHL Draft.​

Noah Dobson

Position: Defenseman
Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 180 pounds
Shoots: Right

Scouting report:

"A very effective two-way defenseman with good puck distribution and a strong shot from the points on the power play. He is a point-producer with size, who defends and utilizes strong positioning and a good stick in the defensive zone."

NHL player comparable: Brent Burns

Fit for Blackhawks:

The Blackhawks lacked defensemen that generated offense last year. They also lacked defenders than can ... defend. Dobson is a player who can do both, and if he slips past Vancouver at No. 7, the Blackhawks may have a difficult decision on their hands.

Dobson could solve some of those defensive issues, but it likely wouldn't be in time for the 2018-19 season. He needs time to develop properly.

The Blackhawks like to evaluate prospects based on what their ceiling is and where they're at in their development curve, and if they see major upside here, they'll go for it. It just depends if there's somebody available that they like better.