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Training Camp Cuts: Joel Armia Escapes Winnipeg Jets Bottom-Six

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Being cut mightn't be the worst thing for the Armia of Darkness.

Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

The Winnipeg Jets initiated their latest round of training camp cuts, and there were some reassignments of note. With Patrice Cormier, Matt Fraser and Matt Halischuk on waivers, they would appear consigned to the role of AHL call-up depth. This leaves Andrew Copp, Nik Ehlers, JC Lipon, Nic Petan and Thomas Raffl to fight over however many open forward spots there may be, a number unknown due to the abundance of defencemen still hanging around. At least one, if not two of those remaining combatants will find themselves on the chopping block in the not-too-distant future.

Of the other names who have been reassigned, Josh Morrissey's chances were always hampered by Winnipeg's glut of defencemen on one-way contracts. Scott Kosmachuk was as much if not more so a fringe candidate for the bottom-six as the aforementioned Halischuk and Fraser. Brendan Lemieux generated a fair amount of buzz and speculation, but ultimately didn't curry enough favour to offset the developmental benefits of going back to Barrie.

Joel Armia constitutes perhaps the only genuine eyebrow-raiser. Armia was a player expected by some to be a full time NHLer come 2015-16, prior to being a not-insignificant piece of the Evander Kane trade. As a 22-year-old former first round draft pick with a couple of AHL seasons already under his belt, he was an easy candidate to pencil in as part of the Jets apparent youth movement. But in what was likely a disappointment for the organization, he failed to blow the doors off this training camp. And if the decision was a toss-up between Joel Armia and, say, Thomas Raffl, as Mike Babcock once uttered, "The tie goes to the veteran".

It must be said though, that failing to make the Winnipeg Jets roster out of training camp does not mean we should write Joel Armia off as a prospect or NHL possibility. Rather than playing limited minutes in the Jets' bottom-six (and almost assuredly on the 4th rather than 3rd line), Armia will likely see significant playing time in the Manitoba Moose top-six, while still under the watchful gaze of the Jets braintrust. Armia struggled with the organizational system (while possibly playing injured) when first joining the IceCaps last season; another year in the AHL gives him time to further grow into it. And as a waiver-exempt player still on his ELC, the Jets can provide that time without the risk of losing him for nothing.

Those who remain are:

Forwards

#6 - Alex Burmistrov
#12 - Drew Stafford
#14 - Anthony Peluso
#16 - Andrew Ladd
#17 - Adam Lowry
#18 - Bryan Little
#21 - Thomas Raffl 
#22 - Chris Thorburn
#26 - Blake Wheeler
#38 - Nic Petan
#42 - Nik Ehlers
#46 - J.C. Lipon 
#51 - Andrew Copp
#55 - Mark Scheifele
#85 - Mathieu Perreault

Defence

#2 - Adam Pardy
#4 - Paul Postma 
#5 - Mark Stuart
#7 - Ben Chiarot
#8 - Jacob Trouba 
#23 - Jay Harrison
#24 - Grant Clitsome
#33 - Dustin Byfuglien
#39 - Toby Enstrom
#57 - Tyler Myers

Goaltenders

#30 - Connor Hellebuyck
#31 - Ondrej Pavelec 
#34 - Michael Hutchinson

What do you make of the most recent wave of cuts? Be sure to share your thoughts in the Comments section below, and as always, thanks for reading!