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Pokka top NHL defensive property playing in Finland

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01-30-2014, 01:45 PM
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Pokka top NHL defensive property playing in Finland

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.

Unfortunately, that success has many of the top defenders — either juniors like Mikko Vainonen (NSH/Kingston) and Julius Honka (2014 draft-eligible/Swift Current), or young pros like Olli Maatta (PIT) and Rasmus Ristolainen (BUF/Rochester (AHL)) — heading to North America.

As a result, the number of defensive prospects still playing in Finland are limited to late-round picks and/or potential unrestricted free agents.

Two exceptions are Karpat's Ville Pokka (NYI) and Esa Lindell of Jokerit (DAL) — both of whom played key roles for Finland's gold medal-winning squad at the 2014 World Junior Championship in Malmo, Sweden.… read more


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