The Chicago Blackhawks have recalled defensemen Ville Pokka, Viktor Svedberg and Dillon Fournier from AHL Rockford ahead of their preseason finale on Saturday. Pokka and Svedberg were officially recalled Friday evening, while Fournier was brought up Saturday morning.
All three defensemen return to training camp after being sent down by Chicago earlier in the month. Svedberg was the only one who had to clear waivers, but that wasn’t an issue as the other 29 teams passed on claiming the colossal blue liner.
The Hawks’ roster now stands at 17 forwards, 11 defensemen and three goaltenders with just four days before the season opener against the Blues.
Chicago made these moves to have bodies on hand for the final preseason game Saturday night. The Hawks will be without Niklas Hjalmarsson due to suspension, and the other major veterans — Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Brian Campbell — will also be sitting out.
With the preseason finale in St. Louis and the Blues potentially feeling a bit squirrelly after Hjalmarsson’s hit on Ty Rattie, it makes sense to keep the big boys out and let some prospects take the lumps instead.