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Armia excited for first game in Buffalo, and Sabres are excited to see him

By John Vogl

Joel Armia has been a top prospect in Sabreland for more than two years. The locals will finally get a good look at him tonight.

Armia, drafted 16th overall by Buffalo in the 2011 NHL draft, will play against Carolina during the Sabres' preseason home opener in First Niagara Center. It's been a long wait for Armia, who spent the previous three seasons playing professionally in his native Finland.

"It’s nice to play here for the first time," he said. "It’s been a good experience meeting the guys here."

Armia will get a prime opportunity to shine in his Buffalo debut. He'll play alongside center Cody Hodgson and fellow winger Thomas Vanek -- two-thirds of the Sabres' No. 1 line for the regular season.

"It’s a great opportunity for me to play with these guys," said Armia, who is said to possess Vanek's goal-scoring talent. "It’s going to help a lot to play with him. It’s going to be a good experience for me to see what he’s doing on the ice and maybe try to learn something from him."

Like the fans, Buffalo's players have long heard about Armia and are ready to see what he's got.

"It’s not just the people," Vanek said. "It’s all of us in here, too. You can see the talent there."

Goaltender Ryan Miller is scheduled to play the entire game, said coach Ron Rolston. The complete lineup is here.

To hear all of Rolston's interview, click the audio file below.


Joel Armia
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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl |

About Sabres Edge

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz |