Prospect Check Up: Joel Armia

Well since the Buffalo Sabres and Rochester Americans are both done with hockey for the year, its time to start looking at the future specifically Buffalo Sabres prospects. Today we’ll be looking at the Sabres first round pick from 2011 Joel Armia, who is currently playing in the Finish elite league for the Porin Assat.

The Buffalo Sabres took Armia 16h overall in the 2011 NHL entry draft and is arguably the best pure goal scorer to be drafted by the Sabres since Thomas Vanek. Armia is a large power-forward (6 foot 3) who likes to drive the net and is extremely dangerous when camped in front of the opponents net. He’s got good hands and is solid when playing 1 on 1′s, not to mention his deadly shot and pure goalscoring ability that has him ranked as one of the top players in the Finish elite league.

Armia had a solid year with the Porin Assat where he scored 18 goals and added 20 assists for 38 points in 54 games! He also amped up his physical game by
adding 64 penalty minutes. He’s still learning to “play to his size” and knows he’s not NHL ready yet and doesn’t want to make the leap to the NHL until he is ready and able to produce for the Sabres. He already has all the offensive skill the Sabres need, now he just needs to work on the little details that will sustain him in the big leagues.

Armia was apart of the 2012 World Junior Finish team that lost 4-2 to team Canada in the bronze medal match ending up in 4th place. He was a major contributor for the Finns scoring 5 goals and adding 2 assists in 7 games which put him 3rd in scoring on the Finnish roster.

Armia is still a young kid (18) who is learning to grow into his big frame, he is under contract with the Porin Assat until 2013. Staying in Finland gives him the opportunity to develop and play with professional men that will give him experience he likely wouldn’t have found in the AHL. After his contract expires he will likely join the Rochester Americans for the start of the 2013-2014 season where he will be monitored closely by the Buffalo Sabres!

The Buffalo Sabres appear to have found a gem with Joel Armia, a big strong pure goal scorer who will be able to one day bring the Sabres offence to the next level. He will give the Sabres a more dynamic scoring threat from any line. But Sabres fans will not be able to see him until the start of the 2013-2014 season when he is more developed.

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