ROCKFORD, Ill. – The Chicago Blackhawks announced today that they have acquired center Chris DiDomenico (dee -DOH -mehn-ih-koh) from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for defenseman Ville Pokka. The Blackhawks also announced DiDomenico will report to the American Hockey League’s Rockford IceHogs.
DiDomenico, 28, has split the 2017-18 season between the NHL and AHL levels, combining for 10 points (6g, 4a) in 24 NHL games with Ottawa, and 15 points (6g, 9a) in 28 AHL games with the Belleville Senators and Syracuse Crunch. The forward began the campaign with a career-high three-game point streak (2g, 3a) with Ottawa from Oct. 26-30 and scored goals in three of his final six NHL games from Feb. 3-13.
The Woodbridge, Ontario native was originally selected by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the sixth round (164th overall) of the 2007 NHL Draft. He made his professional debut with the IceHogs during the 2010-11 season and has since totaled 32 points (8g, 24a) in 102 career AHL games with Rockford (2010-12), Belleville (2017-18) and Syracuse (2017-18). Additionally, DiDomenico played two seasons with Asiago in Italy from 2012-14 and also parts of four seasons from 2014-17 with the SCL Tigers of the Swiss Hockey League. He was also a member of Team Canada’s Spengler Cup championship teams in 2015 and 2016.
Pokka, 23, has amassed 22 points (4g, 18a) and a +3 rating in 46 games with the IceHogs this season. He ranks second on the team behind only AHL All-Star Carl Dahlstrom in both points and assists among Rockford defenseman this season, and trails only Darren Raddysh (5g) for the team-lead in goals among IceHogs blueliners.
The Tornio, Finland native made his pro debut with the IceHogs in 2014-15 and has spent each of his four AHL seasons with Rockford. Pokka is the IceHogs’ lone skater to appear in all 76 games during each of the last two campaigns, and overall, has combined for 127 points (28g, 99a) in 266 career AHL contests with the Hogs. He currently ranks first all-time among Rockford defensemen in games played, second in goals, third in points and fourth in assists.
Pokka was originally selected by the New York Islanders in the second round (34th overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft.
Next Home Game: Saturday, Feb. 17 vs. Cleveland Monsters (6 p.m.)
Rockford completes the back end of a two-game home set against Cleveland with a 6 p.m. tilt on Saturday. The contest is the second of three “Our Town, Our Team” bobblehead giveaways, with the first 2,500 fans receiving a free bobblehead of Toronto Raptors guard, Fred VanVleet (presented by Rock Valley Culligan). Tickets can be purchased at IceHogs.com, by calling (815) 968-5222 or in-person at the BMO Harris Bank Center Box Office.