Ville Pokka
Image: Karpat

Ville Pokka

Hometown:

Tornio Finland

Currently Playing In:

Europe

Birthday:

1994-06-03

Position:

D

Eligible for draft:

2012

Shoots:

Right

Drafted:

2012

Height:

6-0

Acquired:

2nd round (34th overall), 2012

Weight:

198 lbs.

Probability of Success
  • C

History

2009-10: Ville Pokka skated for Karpat Oulu's U18 and U16 clubs and was an assistant captain for Finland's U16 team. He played 20 games for Karpat U18 and had 5 assists with 10 penalty minutes. After finishing third, Karpat lost to Espoo Blues in a five-game playoff series. Pokka played in all five games and was scoreless with 4 penalty minutes. In nine games with Karpat U16 he scored 5 goals with 9 assists. He played in two of the three games in the playoff series with Jokerit and had assists on two of Karpat's four goals.  In 16 games with Finland's U16 team he had 4 goals with 11 assists.

2010-11: Pokka made his SM-Liiga debut, appearing in two games with Karpat, and skated in three games for Kiekko-Laser in Mestis (Finland's second league). He was the leading scorer amongst defensemen for Karpat's U20 team and represented Finland in international play at the 2011 U17 World Hockey Challenge and U18 World Junior Championship tournaments. Pokka was minus-two with 2 penalty minutes averaging 6 minutes of ice time in his brief SM-Liiga experience. He had three assists for Kiekko-Laser. In 32 games for Karpat's junior team he scored 6 goals with 15 assists and was plus-four on a team that finished 12th in the 15-team SM U20 league. In one relegation game he had an assist. Pokka was part of Karpat's bronze medal-winning U18 team and had 9 assists in 12 games (including nine playoff contests). He had 1 goal with 4 penalty minutes in five games for Finland at the U17 WHC and was scoreless and minus-two in six games as Finland finished fifth at the U18 WJC.

2011-12: Pokka skated in 35 games for Karpat in his first full season in Finland's SM-Liiga and played for Finland at the 2012 U20 and U18 World Junior Championship tournaments. He had 3 assists and was minus-three with 12 penalty minutes for Karpat while averaging almost 19 minutes of ice time. After finishing seventh in the regular season, the Oulu club took second-place Pelicans to a decisive seventh game in the playoff quarterfinals. Pokka skated in all nine playoff games and was plus-one with 3 assists. One of two defensemen to play in both the U20 and U18 tournaments for Finland (2013 draft-eligible Rasmus Ristolainen was the other), Pokka played a huge role for Finland at the U20 tournament when highly-touted Olli Maatta was injured in the first game and could not play. In seven games Pokka scored 1 goal with 3 assists and was plus-three with 4 penalty minutes. In seven games at the U18 tournament, Pokka had 1 goal with 5 assists and was plus-two with 4 penalty minutes. In both tournaments, Finland lost to Canada in the bronze medal game. Pokka was invited to the NHL Draft Combine and ranked seventh amongst European skaters in Central Scouting's final rankings prior to the 2012 NHL Draft.

2012-13: Pokka skated in 47 games for Karpat in his second SM-Liiga season and represented Finland in the 2013 World Junior Championship. Pokka tied veteran Mikko Lehtonen with 6 goals to lead Karpat defensemen and also had 6 assists; finishing +2 with 8 penalty minutes. Karpat finished seventh and lost to Lukko Rauma in a three-game preliminary series. Pokka had 2 assists with an even plus/minus against Lukko. In six games at the WJC he scored 2 goals with 4 assists and was a team-leading +10 with 2 penalty minutes. Finland finished seventh after winning two games in the relegation round.

 

Future

Pokka has returned to Finland for the 2013-14 season to play for Karpat in the SM-liiga.

 

Pokka top NHL defensive property playing in Finland

by Tony Piscotta
on

Esa Lindell - Team Finland

Photo: Jokerit defenseman and Dallas Stars prospect Esa Lindell (R) scored the first goal of the game in Finland’s 3-2 gold medal win over Sweden at the 2014 World Junior Championship (courtesy of LUDVIG THUNMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

With the wealth of talented young defensemen coming out of Finland's junior hockey program lately, it's hard to imagine that just three years ago there was a serious dearth of prospects.

Read more»

2014 WJC Review: Finland takes home first WJC gold in 16 years

by Tony Piscotta
on

Teuvo Teravainen - Team Finland

Photo: Center Teuvo Teravainen (C) and his Finland teammates celebrated their 2014 WJC gold medal win over Sweden with a party in Helsinki (courtesy of Roni Rekomaa/AFP/Getty Images)

Most hockey people will tell you that Finland's 2013 WJC squad was a more talented group than the team that skated off the ice in Malmo with the gold medal this year.

In fact, one of those people is defenseman Risto Ristolainen, who scored the "golden goal" in overtime in the 3-2 championship game win over Sweden.

Read more»

2014 WJC Video: Ville Pokka, Finland

by Chapin Landvogt
on

Ville Pokka - Team Finland

Photo: Finland defenseman and New York Islanders prospect Ville Pokka in playing in his third season in Liiga, Finland’s top hockey league, despite being just 19 years of age (courtesy of Chapin Landvogt/HF)

There is no question that Finland defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen left his mark on his country's gold medal win at the 2014 World Junior Championship, as the big defender netted the golden goal to help Finland take their first gold medal at this event since 1998. But one of Ristolainen's blueline brethren, Ville Pokka, may have been Finalnd's most consistently effective defensemen at this WJC.

Read more»

New York Islanders system flush with defensive talent

by Christian Litscher
on

Brock Nelson - New York Islanders

Photo: Forward Brock Nelson is one of many prospects who have played some NHL games for the Islanders this season. Nelson was selected 30th overall in the 2010 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Andy Mead/YCJ/Icon SMI)

The New York Islanders are starting to reap the rewards of high drafting and solid player development. After years of finishing at the bottom of the standings, the organization has developed a core of young talent who led them to the playoffs in 2013. More help is still on the way too, as the Islanders have quality prospects at every position.

Read more»

Big things expected from New York Islanders prospects in 2013-14 season

by Josh Buckingham
on

Ville Pokka - New York Islanders

Photo: Defenseman Ville Pokka is one of many very talented defensive prospects in the New York Islanders system. (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Coming off an improbable playoff berth in 2013, the New York Islanders enter the 2013-14 season with high expectations. They are still a very young club with a lot of promise and should only get better with experience.

Read more»