Position: Left Wing
2015-16 Team: Avon Old Farms
League: NE Prep (Founders League)
Hometown: Warwick, RI
College Commitment: Northeastern (2017)
When teams look at Jamie Armstrong, they see a player that is still climbing to reach his full potential. The son of St. Louis Blues Director of Amateur Scouting Bill Armstrong, the younger Armstrong just finished up his senior season at New England Prep Hockey powerhouse Avon Old Farms.
Armstrong doesn't have the hands or elite speed to generate highlight reel scoring plays, but he's good at what he does, and is getting even better. He's strong around the nets, the wall and below the dots. He's hard to knock off pucks, he uses his size and strength as leverage to fend opposing players away from the puck and he's strong on his skates. The question that will keep cropping up in conversations at draft tables is whether or not he can improve his skating.
Armstrong does a good job of getting into positions where teammates can find him. He'll go into the slot and hold his ground. He has a good, hard shot and can fight through traffic to get it off. Underrated in his game is his vision and hockey IQ in the offensive zone. He's patient with the puck and makes crisp, clean passes.
The one thing you keep hearing about Armstrong is his work ethic and desire to be a good hockey player. That's especially important for a player with his skill set as he's someone who will have to work hard each shift. If he makes it in pro hockey it will be as a third or fourth liner who can use his body, grind down low, and chip in offensively from time to time.
His drive to get better has been apparent watching him the past two seasons. He's always had the ability to make plays and use his physical tools to his advantage, but he's doing it more consistently and with more of a purpose than he did in the past.
He's played the past two seasons, and during the fall split season, with BU commit and fellow NHL Draft prospect Patrick Harper, who is finishing out the year with the Omaha Lancers in the USHL. The duo, who have different skill sets, did a good job feeding off each other.
Armstrong, who is on the affiliates list of the Sioux City Musketeers, will play the 2016-17 season in the USHL before matriculating to Northeastern for 2017-18. A year in North America's top Junior A league will be beneficial to Armstrong as he can start playing against bigger and faster competition. It will also allow him to be in an environment where his skill set can shine more than it can in prep hockey, which is more conducive to playing with finesse.
Draft Projection: Armstrong projects as a bottom six winger who can win battles and chip in offensively. With his pedigree, his father was a hulking 6'5" defenseman, look for a team to maybe take Armstrong a little higher than expected. The safe bet is seeing Armstrong go somewhere in the middle of the fifth round.