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Season Review 2017: Joel Armia

Has Joel Armia lived up to his billing as a first round pick?

Winnipeg Jets v New Jersey Devils Photo by Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images

Joel Armia was one of the key pieces coming back to the Winnipeg Jets from the Buffalo Sabres in the Evander Kane trade. He has not lived up to expectations during his time in Winnipeg. While he is an adept penalty killer, he has not shown that he has the offensive chops that it was thought he had when he was drafted in the first round. Unlike with Dano, Armia does not make up for his lack of scoring with the ability to push play into the offensive zone. This combination makes him a player that should not be played very much at even strength.

Armia’s saving grace is his work in the penalty kill. Yes, the Jets are bad at killing penalties, but Armia is good at gaining possession of the puck and spending time in the offensive zone. With his 10 goals on the season, he is capable of putting the puck in the net some of the time. Armia, like so many of the Jets bottom six players, is fine when he is on the fourth line. The Jets however, rarely play players where they are best suited outside of the top six and that is what kills them.

Corsica Hockey

As previously discovered, the straight across sections show games not played. Therefore, we only really get to evaluate Armia around January when all the Jets started struggling. However, Armia struggled greatly for the entirety of the season he played. However, many players on the Jets struggled this season and it is fair to question why. Is it because they are simply not good enough to be playing the competition they are given. One way that this can be fixed is by adding in players that would fit in a top nine roll like Kyle Connor and Jack Roslovic. There is no guarantee that this would improve the Jets, but it would go a fair ways to showing an attempt to improve the team beyond words.

Joel Armia was one of the key pieces in the Evander Kane trade. He has not lived up to the potential that many people saw in him. In fact, I think it would be fair to say that Armia has underperformed based on his draft position for years. This is not only tied to his production, but his inability to drive possession. This is more concerning than the lack of offence because he does not bring much to the table beyond penalty killing and the Jets have multiple forwards who can play that role. While Armia is a useful fourth liner, is he much more than that?