In the next installment of our historical (well, recently historical) look at the No. 16 pick in the NHL Draft, we once again turn to the Buffalo Sabres.
In 2011, the Sabres had the 16th selection, just as they did in 2013 when they selected hulking defenseman Nikita Zadorov from the London Knights. They owned pick No. 16 twice in the string of three years, and in 2011, they selected skilled forward Joel Armia out of the Finnish SM-I league.
Armia, a three-time World Junior Championship competitor for Finland, was 18 years old when he was drafted by the Sabres - shortly after his rookie year with Porin Assat’s major team. Armia played for Porin Assat's junior level club the year prior and had begun to steadily climb the ladder in Finland and on NHL Draft boards.
After being drafted, he was sent back to play with Assat before receiving a three-year, entry-level contract from the Sabres in June 2011. He again played in Finland for the 2012-13 season before being assigned to the Rochester Americans (AHL) for the 2013-14 campaign.
It was a respectable start for Armia with the Americans, as he recorded 27 points (seven goals, 20 assists) in 54 games while adding six points during Rochester's five-game Calder Cup Playoffs series against the Chicago Wolves.
That's another solid prospect selected with the No. 16 overall pick. We'll find out in less than 48 hours who the Blue Jackets bring into the fold with that very pick.