The hangup with Robyn Regehr looks to have come to an end. We are to assume that Regehr will be coming to Buffalo along with shoot-out champion, and former Sabre, Ales Kotalik. Supposedly the Sabres are moving Paul Byron, Chris Butler and a second-round pick in 2012 to Calgary.
With that soap opera behind us, the Sabres and fans can now devote more attention to the draft today, as it ended up being obstructed Friday with the Regehr trade being in limbo for most of the day and evening.
When the Sabres did make their pick at #16, they took Finnish RW Joel Armia. Armia played in Finland’s top league with Assat Pori. He scored 18 goals and had 29 points. Armia has good skating ability for a big kid (6’3, 195) and finds ways to make room for himself in the offensive zone.
Armia’s best quality is his shot. He has an excellent wrist shot that finds the net. His bread-and-butter in pro hockey, and has been up to this point, is scoring goals. The Sabres need more offense and Armia can be a player down the road to supply that.
He’s not afraid to get into traffic when in the slot or near the net. Definitely has an eye for scoring goals and doesn’t seem to shy away from the high traffic areas in that regard.
Looks a bit like a swift-skating Dave Andreychuk. Armia gets some garbage goals at times, but how often have the Sabres in recent years been surrounding the opposing net, only to be possessing an uncanny inability of parking home goals? Maybe Armia will help in that area.
Armia’s drawbacks are occasional lacks of intensity, motivation and not owning much of a sense for any form of defensive hockey. Sounds a bit like Thomas Vanek when he was at the University of Minnesota, and was tagged a one-dimensional offensive player.
Overall, the Armia selection is a good pick. He would have been drafted in the next 3-5 selections had the Sabres taken another player. Buffalo should be focusing on centers today, and also their BPAs on their lists. Sabres head scout Kevin Devine has insinuated that the team may move up to the second round today. There’s several quality offensive players (centers) to be had in the second round. Let’s see if Buffalo gets creative.