Armia set for NHL debut

The Buffalo Sabres announced Tuesday that Joel Armia has been recalled from the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League. The 21-year-old winger is expected to make his NHL debut Tuesday versus the Detroit Red Wings.

An excellent skating winger with a quick release, Armia has seven goals in 21 games this season with Amerks, equaling the total he posted in 54 games a season ago as a North American rookie. Among the markers are two short-handed, one on the power play and one game winner. He's bundled in nine assists for total of 16 points.

Armia's elevated play actually began in the 2014 Calder Cup playoffs, when he was the Amerks' best player en route to collecting six points (3+3) in a first round loss to Chicago. The increased three-zone effectiveness carried into the Sabres' time in Traverse City, boosting him to solid performance in his second NHL training camp before being dispatched to Rochester.

From there, Armia displayed greater confidence with the puck and an understanding how big and quick he is in all situations. In addition to upping the quality and quantity of his shots, he's been leveraging his long stick to make sneaky defensive plays, and keeping his light feet moving to plug the neutral zone on the penalty kill.

With a more consistent effort and output, Armia has been the top player on the farm. It'll be interesting to see how he performs in his initial NHL look.

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