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Winnipeg Jets Top 25 Under 25: #10 Joel Armia

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Alright you primitive screwheads, listen up! You see this? This is Arctic Ice Hockey's Top 25 Under 25. SB Nation's top of the line. You got that?

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Rank

DOB

Drafted

Pos

Allan

Andy

Philip

Daniel

Ryan

Cara

Ian

Brian

Tim

10

1993/05/31

#16, 2011

RW

11

6

16

8

9

4

12

12

13

Previous Rank: n/a; 12th on Die by the Blade's 2014 Top 25 Under 25

Joel Armia joined the Winnipeg Jets organization thanks to a minor transaction you may have heard of, and now makes his debut at #10 on our Top 25 Under 25. Drafted 16th overall at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, the 22-year old was the ninth player selected after one Mark Scheifele (and as our very own arby_18 had to add, eight spots after Sean Couturier).

It's been a bumpy road at times for the Finnish right winger, but the strengths of his game are largely the same as when he was drafted. He's a bull, able to make his way through defenders to more desirable scoring areas in the slot. He does this with a combination of size, mobility, silky smooth hands and determination to light the lamp. If Armia puts it all together on a nightly basis, he'll be a force to be reckoned with.

And as an added bonus to his merits on the ice, his name makes for a writer's gold mine:

Stats:

After a middling North American debut in 2013-14, last season saw Joel Armia tearing up the AHL with Rochester. His numbers fell off a cliff after joining St. John's, though in all fairness the 2014-15 IceCaps weren't very kind to many stat lines.

AIH Authors' Thoughts:

Andrew:

He's in so far as I'm concerned. 3rd line RW, next to Lowry at C and Burmistrov at LW. His spot to lose.

Brian:

Acquired in the biggest trade of the 2014-15 season, Joel Armia seems to be a shoe-in for the big club roster this year, provided there aren't any other additions.

Ian:

Big, powerful player with great hands and scoring abilities. Can deke as well but apparently his skating ability is something he should work on. One of the players that have a real shot at making the team this year.

Ryan:

Two goals in 21 games with the IceCaps after the big Kane trade has tempered my enthusiasm with Armia. I was quite high on him being part of the return, but now I'm leery to hand him a spot with the big club. Already 22, his time to make a mark is now, but if he can't produce in the minors with a similar system...

Outside Sources:

The Hockey News:

Assets: Has good size for the National Hockey League game, plus the soft hands and instincts of a natural sniper. Knows where to be in score goals and also has two-way upside.

Flaws: Needs to display greater shift-to-shift consistency and stop taking shifts off in order to maximize his NHL potential. Also needs to add more bulk for North America.

Potential: Talented scoring winger with upside.

Jack Goods, Die By The Blade:

When he was drafted he was even thought of as one of the players with the best scoring ability in the draft. He's big and he knows how to score, and that alone should keep fans intrigued.

Matias Strozyk, EliteProspects:

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.

Video:

I want to live in a world where after each goal he scores, Joel Armia rotates between saying "Groovy", "Hail to the king, baby" and "This is my boomstick!".

Summary:

Heading into 2015-16, Joel Armia will be competing against the likes of Anthony Peluso, Matt Halischuk, Matt Fraser, JC Lipon and several others for a spot on Winnipeg's bottom-six. Prior to his inclusion in the Evander Kane blockbuster, Armia is the same prospect folks such as Corey Pronman thought would be playing full-time in Buffalo this coming season. Let's hope Armia turns his latter 2014-15 struggles into a positive, coming to training camp with a bone to pick.

What do you think Armia's chances are of making the NHL roster in 2015-16? Should he spend a further year of development in the AHL, close to home and under the organization's watchful eye? And what do you think is his achievable upside? Be sure to share your thoughts in the Comments section below, and thanks for reading!