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Fresh start helps Athanasiou break through

Published Wednesday, October 17, 2012, 7:30 p.m. under 2012-13 RWC Reports
Andreas Athanasiou

Andreas Athanasiou (Credit: OHL Images)

A change of scenery has gotten Andreas Athanasiou’s season off to a tremendous start.

Traded from the London Knights to the Barrie Colts after a difficult season, the 18-year-old center/left-winger has been all over the score-sheet, producing six goals and six assists in his first 10 games.

Even with all of his 12 points coming in the past eight games, his totals put him among the top 20 Ontario Hockey League scorers.

Athanasiou obviously needs to show he can sustain his productivity over a full season, but it’s a positive sign for a player whose stock plummeted from potential first-rounder to a Red Wings fourth-round pick (110th overall) in the 2012 NHL draft.

The 6-foot, 179-pounder had 22 goals among 39 points and a plus-22 rating in 63 games for the OHL champion Knights last season, but he fell out of favour with his coaching staff and found himself a regular healthy scratch in the playoffs and at the Memorial Cup.

Athanasiou told the London Free Press he requested a trade because “it was time.”

“He wasn’t happy with his ice,” London general manager Mark Hunter told the London Free Press after acquiring three high draft picks for Athanasiou. “He’s a talented player with a lot of potential and you’re sorry to see it go that way, but if you have someone who isn’t happy … then you look at trying to give him what he wants and move on.”

Red Wings director of amateur scouting Joe McDonnell said at the draft there was “no question” Athanasiou would play in the NHL “because of his skating.”

“It’s just a matter of what he’s going to be,” McDonnell said. “Is he going to be a checker or is he going to be a top-two line guy?”

If Athanasiou’s breakthrough season continues, he’ll take a big step toward realizing the upper end of his potential.

Following is this week’s statistical report.

SKATERS: REGULAR-SEASON REPORT

NAME TEAM LEVEL LEAGUE GP G A P PIM +/- SOG
Ferraro, Landon Grand Rapids AHL PRO 2 1 1 2 2 +2 5
Andersson, Joakim Grand Rapids AHL PRO 2 1 0 1 2 -1 6
Pare, Francis Grand Rapids AHL PRO 2 1 0 1 0 0 2
Parkes, Trevor Grand Rapids AHL PRO 2 1 0 1 0 +1 2
Lashoff, Brian Grand Rapids AHL PRO 2 0 1 1 0 -1 3
Nyquist, Gustav Grand Rapids AHL PRO 2 0 1 1 0 -1 3
Smith, Brendan Grand Rapids AHL PRO 2 0 1 1 0 +1 4
Tatar, Tomas Grand Rapids AHL PRO 2 0 1 1 0 -1 6
Almquist, Adam Grand Rapids AHL PRO 1 0 0 0 0 -1 0
Nicastro, Max Grand Rapids AHL PRO 1 0 0 0 0 -1 0
Raedeke, Brent Grand Rapids AHL PRO 1 0 0 0 4 -1 0
Sheahan, Riley Grand Rapids AHL PRO 1 0 0 0 0 -1 0
Aubry, Louis-Marc Grand Rapids AHL PRO 2 0 0 0 6 -1 0
Callahan, Mitchell Grand Rapids AHL PRO 2 0 0 0 11 -1 0
Jurco, Tomas Grand Rapids AHL PRO 2 0 0 0 0 -1 0
McKee, Mike Lincoln USHL/JR-A USHL 3 0 1 1 29 +1 3
De Haas, James Penticton USHL/JR-A BCHL 13 2 4 6 6
Frk, Martin Halifax CHL QMJHL 8 2 6 8 20 +2 21
Ouellet, Xavier Blainville-Boisbriand CHL QMJHL 10 2 7 9 8 +7 40
Hudon, Philippe Victoriaville CHL QMJHL 10 1 3 4 21 -1 17
Sproul, Ryan Sault Ste. Marie CHL OHL 7 1 8 9 12 +5
Athanasiou, Andreas Barrie CHL OHL 10 6 6 12 6 +1
Tvrdon, Marek Vancouver CHL WHL 9 1 7 8 2 -1
Nedomlel, Richard Swift Current CHL WHL 10 0 6 6 29 +6
Jarnkrok, Calle Brynas EUR SEL 14 2 11 13 0 0 41
Backman, Mattias Linkoping EUR SEL 13 0 4 4 4 -1 12
Pulkkinen, Teemu Jokerit EUR FIN 13 1 3 4 31 -3 57
Marchenko, Alexey CSKA Moscow EUR KHL 15 1 1 2 4 -2 9
Bodin, Rasmus HV-71 EUR-JR SWE-J20 5 0 1 1 2 -1 1

GOALIES: REGULAR SEASON REPORT

NAME TEAM LEAGUE GP W L O/S SO GAA SV%
Paterson, Jake Saginaw WHL 7 2 3 2 1 3.22 .902
McCollum, Thomas Grand Rapids AHL 1 0 0 1 0 2.77 .917
Pearce, Jordan Grand Rapids AHL 1 0 1 0 0 3.07 .885
Mrazek, Petr Toledo ECHL 1 1 0 0 0 1.01 .971

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24 Comments
  1. Ken says:

    Being an anesthesiologist and someone familiar with medicine, i’d just like to point out that valium has no effect on hypertension lol. But anyways, the hate on Kenny is going much too far. I agree completely with LTK’s take. It’s not Hollands fault if Suter and Parise turned down his offer, what matters is that he did make them a huge offer. He’s willing to do alot to improve the team, but he doesn’t want to sacrifice Fil or a top prospect; which I agree with.

  2. sheckman9 says:

    Yeah, as I often point out… even if you put the best team in the league on the ice, you still have a slim chance of winning it all. Put a team that can win on the ice every year and your chances go up much more dramatically. Holland knows that and won’t sacrifice the things that get you to the playoffs consistently, with a chance to win, to bolster chances for a short window. It’s just bad business to act that way in this era of CBA and post-CBA…

    Every one of Holland’s moves is calculated. He did get us some depth before the playoffs, but when most teams were dealing 1st and 2nd rounders for UFAs, Kenny got us an RFA for the same price (ie. investment in a long term asset). And we all hate to see our 1st rounders traded away at draft time, but when we end up with two 2nd rounders that end up better than the league’s average 1st rounder, how can we second-guess?

    You may disagree with his strategy… maybe you prefer to load up on a few years every decade or so, like most of the rest of the league, but I don’t think that anyone can say he’s not good at what he does. From my perspective, I’d say Kenny’s methods are not only proven and sound, but have shown to produce better than the competition over time.

  3. YVR says:

    @Ken….Ken,I have a pain in the ass and my local anesthesiologist can’t help me—-what do you suggest?

    Everyone on here is missing the point on Holland and the Wings….KH should have started the Wings makeover 4 yrs ago when many things were obvious, that the team was getting older and Nick was not going to play forever, and the stars were in decline mode. And then Stuart stated he wanted to play on the west coast. What did Kenny do? Nothing. Then he gives away a first round pick for Quincey (just a favor to Stevie Y) who is nothing more than a 5th-6th dman. What in the he!! does Kenny see in Sammy, Cleary, Bert? All washed-up and injury prone. And Red Wing nation gets all excited over Tootoo, a 4TH liner (these guys are a dime-a-dozen) who was benched most of last spring. But, be advised, you will see what Tootoo has to offer.Oh yea, he signed a back-up goalie with a heart condition. Well done Kenny, well done.

  4. JR says:

    @YVR I think your assessment is interesting, hindsight is 20/20. The Quincey trade doesn’t look good right now, but I would wait until he plays a full season with the Wings before a fair assessment of his value to the organization can be made.

    As for the rest of what you said, I disagree. There is no point overpaying for a free agent. I can’t think of a single example where overpaying has ever worked out. So what if this offseason he had to bargain shop, but with a cap that high teams were bound to overvalue talent. I think that Tootoo might actually be a decent signing, but we won’t know until we actually see them play hockey… same with the rest of the free agents.

    I think “Red Wing Nation” is more excited to see what guys like Nyquist can do, or to see if Brunner can adjust to North American play (he currently leads the Swiss league with 22pts in 14gms).

  5. YVR says:

    @Jr…make no mistake Kenny wanted the top free agents as much as anyone; even had the owner and his plane engaged….seems no top end players want to come to Detroit as they see the Wings in decline/turmoil,—-well at least battling for 8th spot, and do not want to raise a family there….you guys want top 10 draft picks; well just wait a couple of years.

  6. LTK says:

    I see the DRWs declining a little but I don’t see them near the basement anytime soon. Nyquist, Tatar, Jurco, Jarnkrok, Sheahan, Oulette, Sproul and Mrazek are all legit prospects that could all be full time Wings in 5 years. How many of them by next year even. Plus if the cap does drop a lot of teams will be dumping players next year that the wings will be first in line to pick up. I’m slightly concerned but not worried.

  7. ryan says:

    @YVR – I’d think the extra $25 million was more the reason for Parise choosing Minnesota over Detroit. Soon as he went he then colluded with Ryan Suter to play for the Wild hand-in-hand. Just because Holland wasn’t willing to offer such ridiculous contracts (which have made Leipold the scourge of these NHL negotiations, btw – same goes for Holmgren and his offer sheet to Weber) doesn’t mean the Red Wings are in decline as a team/franchise. His refusal to step beyond his own boundaries for those players/contracts will actually help the Red Wings in the long run.

  8. YVR says:

    @LTK…I agree the names you mentioned are the hope for the future and are part of the best crop of prospects the Wings have had in my lifetime. Let’s hope there are a couple of superstars there—-I think Sproul and Oulette will be top 4 dmen in a few years; the jury is still out on the rest of them, after all they are still prospects….btw, those who get Sportsnet (Canadian tv)will see Oulette in action this Friday, the 26th.

  9. sheckman9 says:

    YVR, I don’t think it’s what everyone else is missing. I’d suggest you may be missing something. There is no such thing as a “Wings makeover”. They are always maintaining a quality team with small changes, year to year. There MIGHT be a slight dip in quality this year, but it is because of market circumstances. If they wanted to miss the playoffs half the time and peak once a decade, they’d initiate a makeover, like most other teams. I think their track record with this method is pretty sound.

    I’d echo the comment on Quincey; give it a year and then comment. And how many games has Bert missed recently? Doesn’t seem all that injury prone to me..

    Anyone know what the H-E-DOUBLE-HOCKEY-STICKS is going on with Pulkkinen?! His numbers seem to get worse every time I check them… and Fil and the rest of the team seems to be humming along. I’m getting worried about this guy.



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