2012 NHL Draft Scouting Report: Andreas Athanasiou
Andreas Athanasiou has been one of the more interesting prospects for the 2012 NHL Draft in Ontario. Drafted out of the Toronto Titans of the Greater Toronto Hockey League, Athanasiou surprised many by making the Knights out of Training Camp. Since then, he has shown some good upside. In December of 2010 he was invited to participate in the Ontario U17 program, and was named a tournament All Star. In August of 2011, he represented Canada at the 2011 Ivan Hlinka tournament, and had a really strong showing. Off of that success, he was invited out to the National Hockey League’s Research And Development Camp in Toronto, and wowed NHL GMs and scouts with his top end skill. Since that point, he has been hit and miss. At times he has looked like a potential top 20 selection, however most of the season he has struggled with his intelligence and vision, and has left some real questions to his long term upside.
After a few viewings of Athanasiou, it’s fairly easy to see what his attributes are. His individual puck skills and mobility/footwork are absolutely high end. Although he does struggle at times with how he uses his skills, he is one of the best pure skaters among the NHL Draft eligible’s in Ontario. His first few steps are fantastic, and his has strong four-way mobility. He has strong puck skills. He is one of the more elusive one on one players in Ontario, and has the ability to make some smart defensive defenceman look weak with his hands. He shows top end creativity and dynamic ability, but can struggle with how he uses it.
Athanasiou has some aspects of his game that leave some serious questions as to his long term potential. First and foremost, he struggles with his hockey sense/intelligence. He will skate the puck into bad areas of the ice and will not see what to do. It’s almost as if he tries to go as fast as he can at all times, ignoring the situation or the positioning of opposition skaters. He needs to use his speed, but only if he does the right thing. He needs to realize that sometimes it’s not a bad thing to slow down, get your head up and make a read of the ice, instead of simply skating into the offensive zone without a plan. He also needs to be a bit tougher down low, and be more willing to take a hit to make a play.
Individual skill Rankings (out of 10)
Skill : 8
Hockey Sense: 6
Positional Play: 7
Athanasiou is a player who has varied opinions. Some like his individual skills, while others are concerned about his hockey sense and his ability to make the right decisions. He has the skill and abilities to be a top 6 forward, but the question marks around his game make him a bit of a high-risk selection.
He is projected as a skilled top 6 forward, and should be a mid to late third round draft selection for the 2012 NHL Draft.