The Los Angeles Kings have signed winger Andreas Athanasiou to a one-year contract worth $1.2M
The Kings get: a talented, but enigmatic forward who could either way. Either Athanasiou is a 30-goal scorer, as he showed just two seasons ago when he was 24 years old. Or he is a minus-46 defensive liability who doesn't belong in the NHL at all – as he showed last season when he was 25 years old. The Oilers owned Athanasiou's rights and could have kept him for $3M. The Oilers, a team that was in desperate need of a skilled winger, walked away for just $1.8M more. So we know which direction the Oilers think he'll go…
Fantasy Players Impacted: After the kind of AHL season he had and the impact that he made for the Kings during brief call ups, I was kind of rooting for Martin Frk. But that's probably out the window now. The 27-year-old former top prospect has a 25-point NHL season under his belt (in 2017-18 with Detroit in 68 games) and had six goals in 17 games for the Kings last season. But he's on the outside looking in. This also hurts Lias Andersson's chances of making the team as well, but those chances were slim to begin with. Carl Grundstrom's ice time takes a hit here.
I also had Quinton Byfield, this year's second-overall draft pick, as having a shot at making the roster. I had him playing six games (seven would kickstart his contract) and we'll see what happens. As a bigger forward, it's probably best that he waits a year before making the jump anyway. I get that Byfield is a center and Athanasiou is a winger, but there's also power-play time to be considered here and just the 13 forward bodies in general. Athanasiou will be one of those 13 bodies, which impacts all the non-NHL forwards and their chances of becoming a regular this year.