New York Selects D Ville Pokka 34th Overall

New York Islander Fan Central | 6/23/2012 10:13:00 AM | New York Selected D Ville Pokka with 34th selection in 2012 NHL draft. Profile 6/20: Six Finnish sleepers in upcoming NHL Draft

Ranked seventh among European skaters, Karpat Oulu defenseman Ville Pokka is already a regular starter in the SM-liiga and played at the 2012 World Junior Championship (one goal, four points in seven games) as well as the Under-18 Worlds (one goal, six points). A Western Conference scout compared his NHL upside to that of countryman Toni Lydman.

A smooth puck-moving defenseman with a right-handed shot, Pokka is not flashy but gets the job done. Although he is not especially aggressive in the physical department, the 6-foot, 196-pound defenseman does not shy away from contact.

Pokka started 35 games for Karpat's senior team this past season, recording three assists and 12 penalty minutes. The 18-year-old is likely to remain in Finland for two or three more seasons, and has already signed a contract extension for next season with Karpat.

Islanders website profile:

 Trent Klatt, Islanders Player Development

Ville Pokka is a puck-moving defender. His passing and accuracy is good. He has a decent shot from the blue line and is a steady player.