The Buffalo Sabres have selected Joel Armia with the 15th overall selection in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
A goal scorer with enviable size and mobility, the six-foot-three, 190-pound Armia has already shown an effectiveness playing against men in the SM-Liiga. The Assat winger notched 18 goals and 29 points in 48 games playing against opposition 10+ years his elder.
Armia’s already found success at the pro level based on his ability to handle the puck and make creative plays with his offensive instincts. Make no mistake, though, Armia is more of a finisher than a playmaker.
Though one would like to see more of a physical presence from a player of his size, Armia does use his frame well to protect the puck and he isn’t shy along the boards. Still, another 20 pounds on a frame that can handle it will give Armia an added dimension of physical play that will only make the Finn even better in North America.
Should Armia be able to blend some improved skating ability with a thicker frame, he has the potential to be one of the draft’s more productive players.