Name: Andreas Athanasiou
Born: London, ON 8/6/94
GP : 64
Andreas Athanasiou was a fan favorite, but it seemed like he could never do anything to satisfy head coach Jeff Blashill. He seems to be one of the first players blamed when the team is not playing well, while others on the roster see basically no public criticism from Blashill. From my view, based on his body of work so far, Athanasiou has earned the chance to be in the top six night in and night out. For a non-playoff team, that experience could have been valuable as we head into this next season. Instead he was publicly criticized, scratched, and given limited minutes at times despite averaging 13:28 seconds of ice time.
What He Did vs. Expectation
In his career, Athanasiou has not yet been able to show what he can do every single night and this season was no different. For the role he was given Athanasiou did just fine. He has the speed the team needs and he has proven he can put the puck in the net and make NHL caliber plays. My expectation, and maybe yours, of Athanasiou seems to be different than the decision makers. I expect him to perform well in whatever role he is given, I expected him to be a regular top six player every night but he wasn’t, and I won’t hold that against Athanasiou.
Final Grade: B
Athanasiou gets a B. My reasoning is yes he has made some mistakes, but all younger players do, and that’s expected as they learn to play at the NHL level, He’s still 22 years old after all. For example if he loses a puck battle that leads to a goal or scoring chance, Athanasiou, in the postgame interviews is criticized by Blashill. We have been hearing for several seasons that he needs a “higher compete level.” Considering his entire body of work, including finishing second in goals (18) this past season, I think he had a successful season and is a bright spot on this Red Wings team. He is one of the players I am looking forward to the most in terms of being in the next group of Wings forwards that make us all special memories, especially in the playoffs.
What Grade Should Andreas Athanasiou Receive?
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