Fantasy Impact: Oilers Add Andreas Athanasiou

Dobber

2020-02-24

The Edmonton Oilers trade Sam Gagner and two second-round draft picks to the Detroit Red Wings for speedy forward Andreas Athanasiou and prospect Ryan Kuffner.

The Oilers get: One of the fastest players in the league. Athanasiou is enigmatic in that he has first-line talent but we only see it in spurts. Think playing with Connor McDavid can cure that? If the two of them play on a line together, opposition defensemen will be doing their best turnstile impressions.

The Red Wings get: Unfortunately, Sam Gagner will be a placeholder for this season. I think he is deserving of a regular roster spot on the third line and on the power play, but at this point NHL teams have him pretty firmly pigeonholed and seem hell-bent on chasing him back to the minors. But it won’t be this year, as the Wings need him for now.

Fantasy Players Impacted: Athanasiou is having a disappointing season and that’s an understatement. At this point in his career the 25-year-old should be having a breakout season, following up last year’s 30 goals and 54 points. Instead, he’s on a 43-point pace and has an NHL-low minus-45 rating. Suddenly he goes to the team with the great player in the game today – and that team is dying to find a winger for said player? Yes please. The fellas on the TSN panel opined that he would be a great fit on the second line with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Kailer Yamamoto, thereby freeing up Leon Draisaitl to go back to playing with McDavid. With all due respect to those guys, I don’t think they break up that second line, which frankly has been awesome. McDavid will be playing with Athanasiou and Zack Kassian (who has two games remaining in his seven-game suspension). This gives the Oilers a one-two punch that they haven’t seen in a long time. The potential here for Athana