Andreas Athanasiou: News, Stats, Game Logs (2024)

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Athanasiou missed a ton of time in his second and final season with the Kings, ultimately being limited to just 28 games. His production when healthy was fine (11 goals, 17 points), but Athanasiou's 15.5 percent shooting percentage was high and likely unsustainable. The 28-year-old entered unrestricted free agency this past summer, inking a one-year, $3 million deal with the Blackhawks. Athanasiou is going to have a legitimate chance to earn significant minutes on a rebuilding Chicago team, but it won't matter if he can't shake the injury bug.

The Athanasiou that posted 30 goals and 54 points in 76 games for Detroit back in 2018-19 is likely gone forever, with his numbers in his recently completed first year with the Kings (10 goals, 23 points in 47 games) much more reflective of what to expect from the 27-year-old speedster moving forward. Athanasiou offers little in terms of power-play production and zero in terms of hits and blocks, so he's going to have to put up points in order to be a useful fantasy commodity. Toss in the fact Athanasiou has finished with a minus rating each of the past five seasons and most fantasy owners can look elsewhere with their late-round selections. Athanasiou will be back in LA this season on a one year, $2.7 million contract.

After a breakout 2018-19 in which he scored 30 goals and 54 points for the Red Wings, Athanasiou had trouble getting going last season and eventually got flipped to the Oilers, where he failed to earn a regular shift with the club's superstars and managed only one goal and two points in nine games. After the Oil declined his $3 million qualifying offer, the Kings scooped him up on a cheap one-year, prove-it deal on the eve of training camp to bolster their forward ranks, and hopefully their woeful offense. The 26-year-old's best asset is his speed, and he's capable of springing past opposition defenders for a breakaway in a heartbeat. He has good hands and is more than happy to shoot the puck, possessing a sniper's instincts. While he isn't physical and can be a defensive liability (his minus-46 rating was the worst in the NHL last season, although to be fair, Detroit players filled the bottom five spots on that list), the biggest knock against Athanasiou is his inconsistent compete level -- he'll dazzle one night, and then vanish for weeks. If he earns a spot alongside Anze Kopitar, on the power play or at even strength, Athanasiou has the talent to rebound in a big way and cash in with a long-term contract next offseason. If instead he finds himself tumbling down the depth chart as he did in Edmonton, even 15 goals and 30 points could be out of reach.

With slick hands and breakneck speed, Athanasiou qualifies as one of the more dynamic forwards in the NHL. His camp had the audacity to play contract hardball with the Red Wings when he was a restricted free agent ahead of the 2017-18 season, but AA stayed put through a series of short-term deals and appears poised to garner a lucrative contract under the direction of GM Steve Yzerman. Last year, Athanasiou dropped career highs in goals (30), assists (24) and power-play points (11) despite falling below 17 minutes per game. While he's prone to taking shifts off in the defensive zone -- as illustrated by a career minus-30 rating -- more experience should do wonders for the versatile skater. Look for Athanasiou to sneak into the premier crop of NHL scorers in his fifth season, particularly if the Wings can revamp a power play that ranked 19th overall at 18.1 percent last year.

A contract holdout cost the supremely talented Athanasiou the first 10 games of the 2017-18 campaign. Ineligible for arbitration at the time, he demanded an increased role before agreeing to another year. Detroit's 2012 fourth-round (110th overall) draft pick ultimately recorded 16 goals and 17 assists to counter a career-worst minus-15 rating over 71 games. Despite skating to a career-high 1:44 on the man advantage, Athanasiou lit the lamp just once to go with a pair of power-play assists, and he missed the net completely on 69 attempts, leading to the worst shooting percentage (9.4) of his young career. Still, at 24 years old, the trailblazer has been thrown another lifeline to stand out in a deep forward group; he signed a two-year, $6 million extension in July and spared Wings fans another drawn-out saga. Overall, he's a high-risk, high-reward fantasy option.

Athanasiou's wheels never stop spinning, and his ability to dangle through traffic makes him a true showstopper. His iCorsi/60 minute value of 15.9 -- the highest of any Red Wing in the 2016-17 season -- shows that he reigned supreme in 5-on-5 shot attempts, including those that went wide of the net or were blocked. Double-A was anything but reckless with his opportunities, though, as he converted 18 goals on 120 shots for a healthy 15.0 conversion percentage. The problem was that the Ontario native averaged a mere 13:28 of ice time in his sophom*ore season, and his role on the power play was largely negated by the team's absence of a true man-advantage quarterback to complement playmaking blueliner Mike Green. Provided he ultimately agrees to a contract extension -- negotiations have carried over to the preseason --there's plenty of untapped potential with Athanasiou, and you'll want to reap the rewards. Following Detroit's first playoff miss in a quarter century, there will be immense pressure on coach Jeff Blashill to manage the budding star more efficiently. Athanasiou can return the favor by showing more consistency on a game-to-game basis.

Athanasiou possesses a lethal combination of speed and craftiness, and with a little more polish defensively, he should be ready for takeoff in 2016-17. A fourth-round (110th overall) draft selection in 2012, “Double A” split time between AHL Grand Rapids and the Red Wings last season, including being called upon by Detroit during the playoffs. The 22-year-old’s efficiency in 37 regular-season games with the parent club shouldn’t be overlooked, as he barely logged more than nine minutes of ice time per contest, but still managed nine goals and five assists while making good on 17 percent of his shot attempts. His game-winning goal against the Lightning in Game 3 of the conference quarterfinals – the lone victory for the Wings – left the Detroit faithful excited about what the future holds for Athanasiou. He should be heavily owned in fantasy even though he’s best used as a reserve until he can carve out a top-six role.

Athanasiou finished the season with AHL Grand Rapids after torching the OHL for 49 goals and 95 points. He should get a chance to make some noise in the AHL full-time this season.

Athanasiou impressed in the OHL in 2012-13, tallying 67 points in 68 games with Barrie. However, he will need to continue to prove his worth to make his way to the AHL, and perhaps the NHL.

Andreas Athanasiou: News, Stats, Game Logs (2024)
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