The Buffalo Sabres have three more prospects that have been tapped and invited to preliminary camps as national teams select their U20 rosters to fight for gold in Ufa, Russia for the 2013 tournament.
Getting the stick tap for his home country of Finland – is right wing Joel Armia.
Armia has not made the jump to the North American game, and that might give him the greatest chance at success in the international tournament. Despite being drafted by the Buffalo Sabres 16th overall in the 2011 draft, he has stayed playing in SM-liiga; with Porin Assat. He has one more year on his contract with Porin Assat, at which time he will be free to join the Buffalo Sabres organization.
According to the Hockey Futures website – Armia is the Buffalo Sabres biggest offense talent threat since the coming of Thomas Vanek – although Thomas Vanek uses his hands to get the job done, Armia uses his frame. He is large and powerful and plays a simple game, with solid results. In 22 games this year he has 9 goals and 4 assists.
Armia was sidelined with a possible concussion on November 19th – so he may or may not play in the international tournament. If he has not been cleared to play by team Finland’s camp days – he could be staying home for the tournament.
Just two more player profiles to go, as Team Russia boasts two Buffalo Sabres prospects in Mikhal Grigorenko and Andrey Makarov. More on that – and the potential end to Lockout 2012 later – stay tuned!