Sabres Selection, #16 Overall Joel Armia, RW
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07-09-2011, 03:28 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Originally Posted by
I think Sabres made an absolute steal by getting Armia at 16th. It's hard to imagine that any other player from this draft class would pass him on career NHL goals. I have seen lots and lots of Finnish prospects during 30 years of following FEL, and only other player with similiar level of promise on goalscoring was Teemu Selšnne back in 90's. But Selšnne was couple of years older and relying on his speed.
Also I wouldn't be worried about those doubts about his work ethic. It has nothing to do with lazyness or not listening to coaches. Actually the kid is just opposite, winning to work with his deficies ans listening to advice. The negative issue he has is dropping out of picture for some shifts. It's partly due to young age and partly due to going for flamboyant decisions too often. Both will improve.
He will form the "Finnish Connection" with Leino, and bring happiness to Buffalo. Very entertaining player to watch, especially those open-ice one-on-one dekes are just uncanny. I haven't ever seen anyone with those kind of deking skills in FEL ... and this dude was 17 years old last season.
I'm definitely excited about Leino's addition in how it will affect Armia. Joel was obviously not confident in his english speaking. Not only will Ville help that along, but it will also get him to transition faster to the NHL if he can speak Finnish with at least one teammate.
In both the interviews he's done for Sabres.com and the one I saw from him in Finland, he seems very shy. How much could his youth, personality be having an effect on his game in the FEL? A boy amongst men could be very intimidating for certain people. Playing with people closer to his age and experience might give him more confidence and allow him to play a little more aggressively. I feel like as he plays more with the men he'll become more comfortable with himself and them and he'll come out of his shell both in and off the ice.
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