Speedy forward Andreas Athanasiou hopes to give the Los Angeles Kings a much-needed offensive boost.
The Los Angeles Kings recently signed the gifted skating Andreas Athanasiou to a one-year deal worth a mere $1.2 million. It’s a great deal for L.A., who desperately requires some offensive firepower. The Kings are taking a low-risk, high reward gamble that Athanasiou will regain his scoring touch in 2021.
Signing Athanasiou seems like a no-brainer for Los Angeles Kings general manager Rob Blake will likely continue searching for some secondary scoring options to surround the great Anze Kopitar with soon.
As it stands, the Kings will rely on over-the-hill veterans such as Jeff Carter, Dustin Brown along with Adrian Kempe, Alex Iafallo, and now Athanasiou for secondary scoring. It’s a team that doesn’t appear poised to build on their 30th ranked scoring from a year ago; only better than the atrocious Detroit Red Wings.
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Last season the Kings finished the season with 68 points, which helped land forward Quinton Byfield second overall in the 2020 NHL Draft. Byfield comes just a year after the organization landed Alex Turcotte fifth overall. Both forwards are expected to be cornerstones of the future.
Athanasiou is a one-dimensional player proven to be a streaky scorer but a liability in the defensive zone. If head coach Todd McLellan explores playing Athanasiou on the top line alongside Kopitar and Iafallo, he may be rewarded. Athanasiou scored 30 goals in 2018-19 with the Detroit Red Wings, and his defensive zone woes can be covered up by Kopitar, who has proven to be one of the best two-way players in the league, and may I add, the most underrated forward in all of hockey.
Athanasiou is a career minus -76 player, coming off an awful -46 campaign last season between Detroit and Edmonton. Although the 26-year old forward has massive offensive upside, he’s only averaged third line-type minutes averaging less than 15 minutes of ice-time per night throughout his career.
In 303 career games, Athanasiou has recorded 84 goals totaling 156 points while maintaining a mediocre Corsi For Percentage of 47.5.