article

Red Wing confident he will make the team's starting lineup.

DETAILS INSIDE

Share on Facebook

Andreas Athanasiou is ready to really show what he's made of.

The Detroit Red Wings forward is already setting goals for the 2016-17 season, and one of them is to earn a spot in the Red Wings' starting lineup on opening night.

"I'm not worried about that," Athanasiou said, according to Brendan Savage of MLive.com. "I'm confident in my abilities.

"I do what I can out there and like I said, it's their decision and I'm doing to do the best I can to make it as easy as possible. Just take it day to day. Come September I'm going to be ready to play."

After beginning the season with the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League last season, the 21-year-old joined the team full-time in February.

He managed 13 points in 31 games during his final stretch, leading the Red Wings with 1.62 goals per 60 minutes, while averaging just over nine minutes of ice-time per game.

"It's such a tough situation, obviously, with the team we had," said Athanasiou. "There's reliable players that the coach has and obviously when you step in halfway through the season and produce, it kind of puts them in a situation where they have to juggle lines and stuff.

"We did a pretty good job with it. Unfortunately, I got the minutes I got. I'm not complaining. I'm OK with that. Obviously I want it to be more but that's just my foot in the door there, so now I've got to kind to come in."

Whatever decision comes from head coach Jeff Blashill regarding the opening-day roster, Athanasiou remains confident he'll find his place on the team this season.

"I think my confidence just comes from what I've been through, everything I've gone (through) growing up and getting to the National Hockey League. That's where you build you confidence and just getting a chance to play here is a big thing.

"I know my game. I know what I'm capable of. So I'm just going to work on my strengths, work on my weaknesses and come September I'll be ready."