How far will the Rangers get this season?

Possible First Round Pick: Joel Armia

Joel Armia (Via

Joel Armia (Via

The Rangers currently have five defensemen under the age of 28 on their roster and two more top prospects on the way, so it’s very likely New York will be looking to add some offensive firepower with its first-round pick, No. 15 overall in the NHL Draft.

Between now and June 24th, we’ll take a look at some of the forwards that the Rangers might be thinking about taking on draft day.  Today, we look at…

Joel Armia

HT: 6-3

WT: 191

Pos: RW

Shoots: R

Birthday: 5/31/93

Team: Assat, SM-liiga

2009-2010 stats: 15g, 6a, 27gp, 32PIM (Assat, Jr. A)

2010-2011 stats: 18g, 11a, 48gp, 24PIM

2010-2011 playoffs: N/A profile > 



The Hockey News: 15

CSS: 4 Midterm Rank: 2 (European)

ISS: 13 

TSN: 14 Midterm Rank: 16 

TSN (Craig Button): 19

The Scouting Report: 11 Midterm Rank: 9 

Bruins 2011 Draft Watch: 21

Corey Pronman: 15

ESPN: 15


Highlight Reel > 


What They’re Saying:

THN – “After a blazing start to his first Finnish SM-liiga season, there were a lot of expectations placed on Joel Armia to continue his prodigious ways at the world juniors in Buffalo.  The opportunity was certainly there, but Armia couldn’t get on track as the Finns bombed out of the medal round.  Experts weren’t too concerned.  ‘People expected him to carry that team,’ one scout said.  ‘But sometimes goal-scorers go into a slump and when they do, it looks awful.’  Fortunately for Armia, he looked good playing against men back home.  ‘He’s 6-foot-3 and a pure goal-scorer,’ the scout said.  ‘The biggest thing with him is, he gets the puck to net.’  It’s not uncommon for the big power forward to throw six or seven shots on goal in a game and there have been double-digit totals, too.  Despite the world juniors hiccup, Armia was one of the top goal-scorers on Assat this season and is especially lethal on the power play.”

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."

Bruins 2011 Draft Watch – "Another toolsy prospect that B2011DW will no doubt be second-guessed on, we've seen him live and we've seen him on video and sorry to all the Finnish hockey fans out there, but we just can't get on board with this guy in the top-20. We suspect an NHL club will jump on him in the top-15 because of his intriguing mix of size and scoring upside. That said, he's risky because to us, he looks a lot like a more skilledMikko Lehtonen, who scored goals, but also went through the motions for two seasons as a member of the Providence Bruins before tearing it up in the Swedish Elite League this past year. The Bruins traded Lehtonen's rights to the Minnesota Wild, but like Lehtonen, Armia is an alternately a dazzling and frustrating player to watch. Whenever the puck is near him in the offensive zone, he's a threat to put it in the back of the net. He uses his large frame to fight off checkers and has a quick stick with laser-like release. However, when you watch the rest of his body of work, you keep wondering: "Where's the beef?" He doesn't backcheck much and just looks lazy skating up and down the wing at times. There's no denying the killer instincts offensively, but he's not nearly as talented as he and his fans think he is that he can get away with his lackadaisical approach to play in the neutral zone or his own end. Armia has the potential to blow this scouting report out of the water, but we gave him the benefit of the doubt several times. In the end, his uneven compete level and a lack of seeing him ever really take charge in any game we watched him play has him just outside the top-20."

Corey Pronman - "The top prospect out of Finland this season comes in the form of a tall right winger. Joel Armia has plus puck skills and is well above-average for a 6'3", 190 lb. forward. Armia is very confident with the puck on his stick and he has good reason to be. He is able to execute above-average dekes with regularity and is very good in open ice. On more than occasion I've seen him execute a stick-handling move or a mid-distance pass through a tight space that left me saying "wow". He has an above-average shot with the ability to score from notable distances with the tool's accuracy and power. While the frame and his natural offensive tools are a great package, there are quite a few areas of concern with Armia. While he is a tall player, Armia still has a ways to fill out and loses a fair amount of battles that a man his size shouldn't. His hockey sense is decent in regards to his positional play in all zones, however his decision-making with the puck is poor and he too often tries to force the big play with cross-seam passes, deking in dangerous locations, or will chuck the puck at the net with no traffic. His stride is good, but Armia's feet are heavy and the skating tool grades as fringe, but likely could get up a notch with attention to that area. Armia's intangibles and more specifically his consistency are also a question mark. He has one of the best upsides of any forward in the class, but there's a fair amount that he needs to work on." – “’He did not play quite as well as I expected (at WJC),’ said one NHL scout from a Western Conference team. ‘I was hoping to see more; he's been scoring unbelievably good in the Finnish league. Obviously he's big, but needs to fill out. His skating is good and he goes to the net well. Maybe I expected him to do a little more with the puck, be a little more creative. He's a solid draft pick and he'll go high in the draft. It might have been a bit of culture shock for him playing in a big tournament in North America. Armia will be back at World Juniors next year, though, and be much improved.’  While not flashy, Armia usually is in the right spot at the right time.  ‘He's big and tall but surprisingly mobile for a player of his size,’ NHL Director of European Scouting Goran Stubb told ‘He's a sniper with a good selection of shots. You might have to look for him during some shifts, but then, suddenly, he scores the winner.’” – “’I am sure he is going to be a great player and he will have a chance to play in the NHL,’ said Finnish coach Lauri Marjamaki. ‘But there are steps to take. His skating has to be better and in 1-on-1 situations he has to be better. But he is a young player and I think this was a great experience for him.’  Armia was a force for the Finns at the Ivan Hlinka tournament (under-18) over the summer and that started him on a track that led to the 6-foot-3 winger being a fast riser on NHL draft charts.  ‘I really liked him this summer,’ said one NHL GM. ‘He had a really great tournament in Piestany in August and I think he struggled a little bit in this tournament, but he has tremendous upside; a big kid who can skate with good hands.’” 


Mock Drafts:

Adam Kimelman, – 12 

Mike Morreale, – 14

Steven Hoffner, – 23

Deven Persaud, - 14 – 22 

Gary Joyce, ESPN – 20 

Mark Seidel, CBC – 29 

Hockey's Future - 10

The Hockey News - 15


Thoughts: It’s curious that scouts and mock drafts have Armia all over the board.  No one can deny his goal-scoring ability, but it sounds like he’s a bit one-dimensional at this point.  He clearly has a tendency to disappear at times, a maddening trait among goal-scorers that the Rangers have experienced first-hand with Marian Gaborik.  Still, Armia is a big man and has shown plenty of ability.  He has the potential to be the top line winger the Rangers are lacking.

The Rangers have only used two first-round picks on Euro-league forwards in the last 17 years.  They last took a player from Finland in 2004 when they chose Lauri Korpikoski at No. 19.


Season Review:

Breaking Down The Defense >

Breaking Down The Goalies >

Breaking Down The Offense >

Breaking Down The Prospects >

How Three Free Agent Signings In 2007 Have Shaped The Eastern Conference >

Spotlight On Glen Sather >

Spotlight On John Tortorella >


Player Reviews:

Spotlight On Mats Zuccarello >

Spotlight On Brian Boyle >

Spotlight On Matt Gilroy >

Spotlight On Ruslan Fedotenko >

Spotlight On Brandon Prust >

Spotlight On Bryan McCabe >

Spotlight On Alex Frolov >

Spotlight On Michael Del Zotto >

Spotlight On Martin Biron >

Spotlight On Brandon Dubinsky >

Spotlight On Marc Staal >

Spotlight On Steve Eminger >

Spotlight On Henrik Lundqvist >


Possible First Round Pick:

Zack Phillips >

Sven Bartschi >

Mark Scheifele >

Mika Zibanejad > 

Mark McNeill >

Brandon Saad >

Joel Armia >




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New York Rangers VS Chicago Blackhawks
Wednesday, October 7, 2015

  1 2 3 OT F
Rangers 3 0 0 - 3
Blackhawks 1 1 0 - 2

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