Sabres recall ’11 first-rounder Armia, could make NHL debut

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Joel Armia looks like he’s on the verge of playing in the bigs.

On Wednesday, the Sabres recalled Armia — their first-round pick (16th overall) at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft — from AHL Rochester in advance of tonight’s game versus Detroit. With Matt Moulson (illness) still not feeling well, it’s possible Armia could play tonight when Buffalo takes on the Wings at the Joe.

Armia, 21, is one of only three top-20 picks from his draft year yet to play in the NHL (Colorado’s Duncan Siemens and Chicago’s Mark McNeill are the others). A former standout with Assat of SM-liiga and with the Finnish World Junior team, he’s dealt with a myriad of injuries during his two years in the AHL, but has been good this season, posting seven goals and 16 points in 21 games for the Amerks.