Well, Winnipeg Jets General Manager Kevin Cheveldayoff had himself one heck of a day. Evander Kane was known to be on the trading block, but few expected Zach Bogosian to go with him as part of a seven player deal. Heading back to Winnipeg was a pile of players, one of whom was 2011 first round pick Joel Armia.
This leaves many wondering, Who is Joel Armia?
As mentioned above, Armia is a former first round pick. He was drafted 16th overall in 2011 - eight slots after the Winnipeg Jets drafted Mark Scheifele. He is a highly touted prospect in his own right and easily jumps to near the top of the Winnipeg Jets prospect depth chart.
Weight: 201 lbs
A large forward, Armia plays a simple and solid game. He likes to head towards the net and is very strong in one-on-one situations. Armia is extremely dangerous in the slot where he can create space for himself with a simple deke and then use his sharp and accurate shot to finish the play. Armia has good stickhandling and puck skills but could share the puck more often. He has built his physique well and added a new dimension to his game with improved defensive skills. (Matias Strozyk, 2012)
"He’s big and tall but surprisingly mobile for a player of his size,’ NHL Director of European Scouting Goran Stubb told NHL.com. ‘He’s a sniper with a good selection of shots. You might have to look for him during some shifts, but then, suddenly, he scores the winner. He has a very good feel for the game and moving the puck well with his linemates. He has a heavy wrist shot that he gets off quickly and is always looking for the empty spots on the ice."
– NHL Director of European Scouting Goran Stubb
Where does he fit in?
Armia was drafted to be a scorer at the NHL level. He isn't ready for that role yet though. He has progressed well since his draft day, but there are some questions about his ceiling. In the short term he bolsters an IceCaps team that needs help putting the puck in the net. He could also find himself battling for an NHL roster spot as soon as next year. Armia will likely be the top non-Ehlers winger in future Winnipeg Jets draft rankings.
What do you think of Joel Armia?