Andreas Athanasiou Traded by Detroit Red Wings to Edmonton Oilers

Andreas Athanasiou; 2019-20 Detroit Red Wings
TORONTO, ON - DECEMBER 21: Andreas Athanasiou #72 of the Detroit Red Wings skates against the Toronto Maple Leafs during an NHL game at Scotiabank Arena on December 21, 2019 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Maple Leafs defeated the Red Wings 4-1. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

The Detroit Red Wings have traded forwards Andreas Athanasiou and Ryan Kuffner to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for a second-round draft selection each in 2020 and 2021 and forward Sam Gagner. Athanasiou joins his new team after a very poor first part of the season but he still has solid potential in a new environment. Athanasiou has been troubled by injuries, so his new team certainly hopes his health holds up for the second half of the season. He has 10 goals and 24 points through 46 games.

Detroit Trades Andreas Athanasiou

Athanasiou’s new organization will hope he can turn around what is a very unlucky season to this point. The 25-year-old is still in his physical prime but is scoring less than half of his career rate. His career shooting percentage is 12.3 but this year he is only scoring on 8.7 percent of his 88 shots. Athanasiou’s season would look different with 14-15 goals instead of 10.

There will certainly be more opportunities with his new team. He’ll have much better linemates than Luke Glendening and Valtteri Filppula at the very least. Detroit is putrid in almost every aspect of the game this year and that has hurt some players who otherwise have talent. Athanasiou does need to improve on below-average possession numbers if he wants to be a consistent top-six option for his new home but there is undeniable potential. It was just last season that the former fourth-round pick scored 30 goals and career-best 54 points.

What This Means for the Future

Detroit is merely trying to rebuild and acquire some more building blocks for the future. Their farm should give fans hope but there is nothing to play for except draft position this season. The Red Wings are in the process of unloading more dead weight as the trade deadline approaches.

Andreas Athanasiou will hope he can help his new team in the final months of the regular season and playoffs. He might not play above the third line but he will bring speed and a scoring touch to the bottom-six. His biggest goal should be showing improvement before his free agency arrives this summer.

Main Photo:
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