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My Hometown… with Joel Armia

Let the 26-year-old forward take you on a tour of Pori, Finland

by Matt Cudzinowski @CanadiensMTL / canadiens.com

MONTREAL - While the Habs may call Montreal home during the season, they'll never forget where they came from. Long before Joel Armia first hit the ice in the NHL, he was taking his first strides toward stardom back home in Finland. Check out Joel's insider guide to the must-sees back in his hometown.

BEST RESTAURANT

I like so many restaurants. I like to try different spots all the time. I like good food, especially Italian food. There's a good Italian restaurant in Pori called Bucco. Everything on the menu is good. I go there often.

BEST PLACE TO GO SHOPPING

Even though there's probably better shopping in Helsinki, you can find everything you need in Pori. I go to Ratsula for clothes. It's not like a huge mall or anything, it's just one store. 

BEST HANGOUT

The whole city. It's the best place you can be. You can hang out downtown. I also go fishing a lot. We have really good fishing spots. It's probably just 10 to 15 minutes from downtown. I also have my summer house and my friend has a summer house, too. Everything is close.

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

I went to Björneborgs Svenska Samskola. It's a Swedish school. It's still there. There were a few NHL players who went there - Christian Ruuttu, Leo Komarov, Erik Haula. There might be more. I enjoyed being there. I liked all of my classes.

HOME ARENA AS A KID

I played at Isomäki Areena where Ässät plays. It was the best thing ever. It was always cool to play there as a kid. Back home, there was always something going on there, like a practice or a tournament. It's great for the kids to get to play on the same ice as the big club.

WHAT IS PORI FAMOUS FOR?

The hockey team, I would think. It's also famous for the Pori Jazz Festival. I think playing for Ässät was always my dream. I really didn't even dream of the NHL that much, but I dreamed about playing for my hometown team. It was unreal. I enjoyed every second of it. With the Jazz Festival, I go every year. It's eight days long. They always have good concerts there. It's at this huge grassy area where you make your own camp. It's a picnic type of thing. You just listen to music and meet up with your friends. It's the place to go.

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