Pokka was a second round pick in 2012 and stayed in Finland to play for Karpat this past season. He’s one of Finland’s best U-20 defenders, as he has been part of their top pairing in some recent exhibition games. Pokka scored the overtime game winner against the US in a scrimmage on Sunday in Lake Placid. He was paired up with Olli Maatta — Pittsburgh’s first round pick in 2012 — as Finland’s top unit.
If you’re keeping score, that’s three defenders the Islanders have playing important roles for their country plus an injured Adam Pelech, who otherwise would have been in the mix as well.
In Other Prospect News…
OHL Prospects blog is running a 30 in 30 feature on each NHL team’s prospects. On Friday they took a look at the Islanders (via LHH), which includes looks at Ryan Strome, Andrey Pedan (oh look, another defender), Pelech, Jesse Graham, and Alan Quine. It’s a good read to get familiar with some of the team’s prospects.
The Cliff’s Notes version on the top three: Otten thinks Strome is ready to take a shot at the show, Pedan is “still a work in progress”, and an interesting note that “Pelech IS the Erie Otters’ defense.”
The Hockey News’ Adam Proteau caught up with Cal Clutterbuck on the golf course, where the newest Islander is taking fashion tips from a golfer known for wearing bright colors, Ricky Fowler. The video cannot be embedded, so click here to watch it. Here’s the side-by-side comparison: