Andreas Athanasiou
Andreas Athanasiou
25-Year-Old CenterC
Detroit Red Wings
2019 Fantasy Outlook
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. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a two-year, $6 million contract extension with the Red Wings in July of 2018.
Scores twice in shootout loss
CDetroit Red Wings
November 16, 2019
Athanasiou scored two goals on four shots in Saturday's 4-3 shootout loss to the Sharks.
The winger got his team on the board just 13 seconds after Marc-Edouard Vlasic scored in the second period. Athanasiou then tied it with 4:14 remaining in regulation. The 25-year-old has four goals in his last four games. He's now at 11 points and 51 shots in 20 games, but that comes with a league-worst minus-21 rating. If he can keep scoring, his plus-minus will eventually level off -- but it will likely remain negative playing for the lowly Red Wings.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
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 sophomore 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.
More Fantasy News
Goals in back-to-back games
CDetroit Red Wings
November 13, 2019
Athanasiou scored a goal on a team-leading six shots in a 4-3 overtime win over Anaheim on Tuesday. He also dished out three hits.
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Picking up pace in November
CDetroit Red Wings
November 10, 2019
Athanasiou scored a power-play goal on three shots in a 3-2 win over Vegas on Sunday.
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Stepping up a bit
CDetroit Red Wings
November 7, 2019
Athanasiou provided a primary assist Wednesday in a 5-1 loss to the Rangers.
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Ends slump in lopsided loss
CDetroit Red Wings
November 4, 2019
Athanasiou scored his first goal of the season in a 6-1 loss to Nashville on Monday.
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Value slipping in Motown
CDetroit Red Wings
November 3, 2019
Athanasiou's trade value has diminished significantly due to his poor start to the 2019-20 campaign, Ansar Khan of reports.
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