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Athanasiou returned to Grand Rapids

by Kyle Kujawa / Detroit Red Wings

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today assigned center Andreas Athanasiou to the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins and placed right wing Johan Franzen on long-term injury reserve.

Athanasiou appeared in six NHL games during his first-ever call-up to the NHL, netting his first NHL goal on Nov. 10 versus Washington. The goal was the only marker in Detroit’s 1-0 win over the Capitals, making Athanasiou just the fourth player in franchise history to score his first NHL goal in a 1-0 win, per the Elias Sports Bureau. The 21-year-old forward also recorded 11 shots on goal, four hits, two blocked shots and one takeaway, while averaging 8:53 time on ice. Athanasiou has skated in eight games with the Griffins so far this season, recording two points (1-1-2), four penalty minutes and 21 shots on goal.

Originally drafted by Detroit in the fourth round (110th overall) of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, Athanasiou has appeared in 65 games with the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins since 2013-14, recording 37 points (18-19-37) and 29 penalty minutes. He played his first full professional season in 2014-15 and posted the best point-per-game average (0.58) among Griffins rookies, recording 32 points (16-16-32) in a season that was limited to 55 games played due to a broken jaw. Athanasiou finished fifth on Grand Rapids in postseason scoring, picking up nine points (5-4-9) in 16 postseason games.

The Woodbridge, Ontario, native spent four seasons in the Ontario Hockey League from 2010-14 prior to turning professional, spending time with the London Knights and Barrie Colts. In 252 career major junior games, he recorded 221 points (111-110-221) and 125 penalty minutes, winning an OHL championship with London in 2012. He ranked fifth in the league in scoring during his final OHL season with Barrie in 2013-14, racking up 95 points (49-46-95) in 66 games.

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