The 6’3, highly skilled winger Joel Armia is the final piece in our top 20 list the Winnipeg Jets received from the Evander Kane and Zach Bogosian trade. Hailing from the same draft class as Mark Scheifele and Adam Lowry, while being drafted 16th overall by the Buffalo Sabres.
We continue our summer prospect profile series, checking in at #6.
Here is Armia’s Player Cohort Success over the since his pre-draft eligible season:
PCS% is the percentage of similar players in height, league, scoring, and age that made the NHL, while PCS points per game is the production typical of those that did make it.
Joel Armia’s scoring was unprecedented across the ocean. In fact, PCS struggles to create cohorts for the graph above that were as big and scored as efficiently.
We had to both open up to similar leagues and also allow PCS to stretch out further. Even then Armia found no matches as a 16-year-old and one match as a 17-year-old.
At 16 Armia scored 12 points in six games, causing him to be pushed up to the U20 level. Despite playing against those two and three years older, Armia scored nearly a point per game pace, which came with no statistical comparables for PCS to latch onto.
For Armia’s 17-year-old season, Armia played in the Finish Liiga league against men. There Armia scored 18 goals, 11 assists and 29 points in 48 games. The only substantial scorer at such a young age since has been Aleksander Barkov with 21 goals, 27 assists, and 48 points in 53 games.
Armia followed up the next two seasons with similar goal scoring, although his assists went up. There were concerns with such an exceptional talent struggling to progress.
Another feather under Armia’s cap was representing the Fins in the U20 World Juniors three seasons in a row, where Armia scored 20 points over a combined 19 games.
Armia made the move to North America for his 20-year-old season. Armia struggled transitioning to the North American game. Armia scored 27 points in 54 games, which was also 54th in rookie scoring in the AHL, lower than Adam Lowry or even former Jet prospect Vinny Saponari.
The young winger picked up the pace, scoring nearly the same amount of points for the Rochester Americans in 21 less games. Then Armia was traded to the Winnipeg Jets organization, moving to the lowest scoring AHL team in the Eastern Conference. There Armia scored only 8 points in 21 games.
When it comes to skill, there are few who would dismiss that Armia permeates skill. He is big and fast, while has incredibly high vision and IQ. The biggest fault though has been consistency. In many ways, Armia is much like what many thought of Blake Wheeler in his earlier years.
Armia will need to put that skill together this summer and show his consistency. The Jets have two winger spots open and Armia will want to prove he is ready for the NHL this season. If cut, expect Armia to be one of the top goal scorers for the Manitoba Moose.
Here are some highlights of Joel Armia’s 2014-2015 season, courtesy of Jets Nations’ own Anthony Lenting: