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2011 Draft Prospect Profile #31: Joel Armia

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Forward Joel Armia #20 of Finalnd during the 2011 IIHF World U20 Championship game - Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images
Forward Joel Armia #20 of Finalnd during the 2011 IIHF World U20 Championship game - Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images
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Position: Winger
Age: 18
Date of Birth: May 31, 1993
Place of Birth: Pori, Finland
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 191
Shoots: Right

Joel Armia finished his first season in the Finnish SM Liiga this year, playing with Ässät. He's got enough skill to have earned the nickname "The Finnish Ace," and he made the jump to the top level in Finland as well as playing on the U20 Finnish team in Buffalo. Central Scouting has him ranked as the 4th European skater heading into the draft. Armia will need some time to develop and to learn the North American game, and will certainly need to put some size onto his frame. He has the potential to be a physical player in time, and he has the offensive touch to impact on both ends of the ice. He skates well enough for his size, has good hands, and is willing to go into the dirty areas to score goals.

2010/2011 Regular Season Stats:

GP G A PTS +/- PIM
48 18 11 29 +9 24

Scouting Report (The Scouting Report):

"After climbing the rankings early, it seems like Armia’s stock may have tailed off a bit the past few months in the eyes of most. Despite going under the radar at the U20’s in Buffalo, Armia still had a productive first season in the SM-Liiga and went on to lead Finland in scoring at the U18’s. The Finn is still pretty raw, but a winger with his size and skill is an attractive package and it’s hard to imagine him slipping much further than 11."

Why he'd be a good fit in Columbus:

He has the size and potential to be an impact two-way winger in the NHL in time, though he does play a position that's not really of need for Columbus in the most immediate sense. That's not a turn-off, though, as the Jackets would need to be willing to wait three of four years on Armia. He has a quick release and decent shot, but one knock on him is that he is known to take shifts off. That might be something to avoid considering the current makeup of the Jackets' roster.

Joel Armia Highlights: