from Dana Wakiji of DetroitRedWings.com,
While the Red Wings need their rookies to play well, it's the improvement from their young core of players -- Athanasiou, Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha and Tyler Bertuzzi -- that will determine how good the team can be.
Right now Athanasiou leads the Wings with 11 goals.
Larkin and Mantha are close behind at nine goals apiece and Bertuzzi has eight.
"One, his engagement level from Day One at training camp has been really good and if his engagement level is really good, he gets lot of ice time, when he gets ice time it puts him in position to produce," Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. "He's utilized his assets -- his speed and his skill -- and I think a lot of those have been on display. Whether he's played with (Gustav) Nyquist or played with (Frans) Nielsen or played with (Thomas) Vanek -- those would be the majority of guys he's played with -- they're all real good offensive players and they know how to utilize him more."
What's even more impressive is that Athanasiou has needed just 21 games to score his 11 goals.
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