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Athanasiou has big move prepared for skills competition

by Mike G. Morreale /
KELOWNA, B.C. -- Will London Knights wing Andreas Athanasiou be able to pull off the ridiculous move he has up his sleeve at the 2012 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Skill competition on Tuesday here at Prospera Place.

If he does, it could turn out to be even more spectacular than last year's lacrosse-style scoop and wicked backhand off a spin-o-rama by Detroit Red Wings prospect Tomas Jurco.

"I remember watching that move last year by Jurco … it was pretty amazing," Athanasiou told

While the 6-foot-1, 174-pound native of Woodbridge, Ont., would not reveal the exact move he had prepared for the scouts and fans in attendance, he was certain that if he's able to execute, it will be something special.

"If I'm able to follow through with it, it'll look pretty cool," he said. "It'll give the judges something to look at. It's a good little move, and it'll look really cool. I've practiced it a couple of times, so I'm a little familiar with it. If I'm able to pull it off, it'll help my confidence. I'm kind of banking on this one move so hopefully I can pull it off."

Athanasiou, who is ranked No. 24 among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting, is ecstatic to be given an opportunity to perform with the best the Canadian Hockey League has to offer.

"This is where the top prospects come and being a part of it is definitely an honor," Athanasiou said. "I think going out there and having the opportunity, show them what I have is great. Every NHL GM is out there and that puts a little pressure, but you have to show them what you got. Obviously, my goal is to move up in the rankings so I have to show them what I'm made of and follow through with it."

NHL Central Scouting Director Dan Marr feels the Top Prospects skills competition and Wednesday's Top Prospects Game, pitting Team Orr against Team Cherry, is a great opportunity for these young players to establish an identity.

"It's an opportunity for these kids to show what they can bring to the table," Marr said. "On their club teams, they don't always get the opportunities to showcase their abilities because you're playing a system or you don't get the ice time. Here, they can go out and show everyone what they've got. It's an opportunity to advance their case just by showcasing their skills."

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale
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