NHL Draft 2011: The Buffalo Sabres Select Joel Armia With Their First Round Pick

The Buffalo Sabres did something during the first round of the NHL Draft that they haven't done in five years. They picked a player that wasn't from North America. 

With the 16th overall pick, the Buffalo Sabres selected Joel Armia from Finland. Armia is a right winger that played in the 2011 WJC's held in Buffalo for Team Finland. Here is some of the scouting report from International Scouting Services;

He is a very dynamic player with excellent power elements in his game complimented by some very good skill around the puck. Few players have the shot release that Armia possesses, which makes him a threat to score from a variety of areas on the ice and from different situations.

Armia is going to be a work in progress, something that the Sabres really haven't had to deal with in their first round selections since the last time they picked a European in the first round, Dennis Persson. Unlike Marek Zagrapan, the Sabres first round selection in 2005, Persson is still apart of the organization but isn't on anyone's list of players to be considered to make the roster anytime soon. 

Though, I'm not sure that either Zagrapan nor Persson could score goals like these:

It will probably take a few years to pass judgement on this pick, but the Sabres track record as of late in scouting European players doesn't give me much hope. That highlight video above gives somewhat of a glimmer though. 

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