Andreas Athanasiou
Image: NHL

Andreas Athanasiou

Hometown:

Woodbridge Ontario

Currently Playing In:

Pro

Birthday:

1994-08-06

Position:

LW

Eligible for draft:

2012

Shoots:

Left

Drafted:

2012

Height:

6-0

Acquired:

4th round (110th overall), 2012

Weight:

165 lbs.

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History

2009-10: Andreas Athanasiou scored at a better than a point-per-game pace playing for the Toronto Titans Midget AAA team in the Greater Toronto Hockey League. In 56 games he scored 24 goals with 34 assists and had 32 penalty minutes. He was selected by London in the fourth round (81st overall) of the 2010 OHL Priority Draft.

2010-11: Athanasiou skated in 57 games as an OHL rookie with the London Knights and was part of the gold medal-winning Ontario squad at the 2011 U17 World Hockey Challenge. He scored 11 goals with 11 assists and was minus-11 with 22 penalty minutes. The Knights reached the OHL playoffs despite finishing last in the Midwest Division. In six playoff games Athanasiou was minus-one with no points or penalties. Athanasiou was one of five players for Ontario who had five or more points in the five-game WHC, finishing with 2 goals and 3 assists.

2011-12: Athanasiou was one of five players to score 20 or more goals on a London Knights team that finished with the OHL’s best record. In 63 games he scored 22 goals with 15 assists and was plus-22 with 22 penalty minutes. Athanasiou skated in nine of the Knights’ first 17 playoff games as London reached the OHL playoff finals and scored 1 goal with 3 assists and was plus-six. He was invited to the NHL Draft Combine and ranked 41st amongst North American skaters in the  Central Scouting final rankings. Athanasiou was selected by Detroit in the fourth round (110th overall) in the 2012 NHL Draft.

2012-13: Athanasiou skated for Barrie in his third OHL season after being obtained by the Colts in an August 2012 trade with London. He was the fourth-leading scorer for the Colts, finishing third on the team with 29 goals and recording 38 assists. He was +13 with 30 penalty minutes in 66 games. Barrie reached the OHL finals against Athanasiou’s former team. In 22 playoff games Athanasiou scored 12 goals with 13 assists and was +6 with 11 penalty minutes. He joined Detroit AHL affiliate Grand Rapids during the Calder Cup playoffs but did not appear in any games.

2013-14: Athanasiou signed a three-year entry level contract with Detroit in November 2013 and made his pro hockey debut with Red Wings AHL affiliate Grand Rapids in April 2014 following his fourth OHL season. He scored 1 goal with 2 assists and had an even plus/minus with no penalties in two regular season games with the Griffins. Grand Rapids finished second in the Midwest Division and reached the second round in the playoffs. Athanasiou had 1 assist and was +2 with 6 penalty minutes in six playoff games. He led Barrie in scoring in OHL play, scoring 49 goals with 46 assists, and was +25 with 52 penalty minutes in 66 regular season games. The Colts finished third in the Central Division and reached the second round in the playoffs. Athanasiou scored 3 goals with 9 assists and was +1 with 2 penalty minutes in 11 playoff games.

2014-15: Athanasiou skated for Detroit AHL affiliate Grand Rapids in his first pro season. Despite being sidelined for six weeks after suffering a broken jaw in December, he made a smooth transition to the pro game, providing scoring along with strong two-way play. In 55 regular season games he scored 16 goals with 16 assists and was +17 with 25 penalty minutes. The Griffins finished first in the Midwest Division, advancing to the Western Conference finals against Utica. Athanasiou scored 5 goals with 4 assists and was +5 with 6 penalty minutes in 16 playoff games. 

2015-16: Athanasiou made his NHL debut with the Red Wings in a November 8th game against Dallas. He played in six games with the Red Wings before being returned to AHL affiliate Grand Rapids; rejoining Detroit for good in February. In 37 regular season games with the Red Wings he scored 9 goals with 5 assists and was +1 with 5 penalty minutes, averaging nine minutes of ice time. He scored his first playoff goal, a game-winner, against Tampa Bay in Game 3 of the first round series with the Lightning. Athanasiou scored 8 goals with 8 assists and was -6 with 9 penalty minutes in 26 AHL games with Grand Rapids.

Talent Analysis

Athanasiou has the speed and hands to be a dangerous NHL forward, though his all-around game is still developing. He has the physical skills and skating ability to turn into an offensive threat and continues to work on his defense and consistency.

Future

Athanasiou played in 37 regular season games for Detroit in 2015-16, steadily establishing himself in a lower line role for the Red Wings and chipping in with nine goals and five assists. His combination of size and positional awareness and the willingness to play in hard areas should keep him in the lineup going forward and he could become more of a scorer as he gains experience.

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"It's just natural. It's always been a key part of my game playing hockey. Even when I'm playing basketball, soccer, track — I was on a track-and-field club team outside of school — I've always been pretty fast," Athanasiou explained. "It's always been my go-to — it's always been there, even when I was a little kid. I remember going on the ice with my dad when I was really young, maybe a couple of years old, and having him swing me around so that I could just pick up tons and tons of speed and just fly around. I just loved it."
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