Damien Riat, a Capitals forward prospect, appears likely to stay in Europe for the immediate future. The former fourth round draft pick has signed a two-year deal with the NLA team Biel-Bienne in Switzerland.
If the 21-year-old Riat fulfills the entire term of his contract, the earliest he can come to North America will be the 2020-21 season.
Riat bid farewell to Geneva-Servette, the team he has played with for the past three seasons, in an Instagram post on Saturday.
“Thank you to the @officialgshc organization for these 3 beautiful years and to all their fans for having supported us until the end! Thank you all,” Riat captioned the photo, as translated by friend of the blog Kelly Swor.
The new contract includes an NHL out-clause, which can be activated before July 20. If Riat chooses to sign an entry-level contract with the Capitals before 2020, he can choose to use this clause.
When the six-foot Swiss native was drafted in 2016, Assistant General Manager Ross Mahoney had high hopes for the forward.
“[Garrett] Pilon and Riat have always been very, very intelligent players and gifted offensively. They skate well,” Mahoney said at the draft. “They both put up pretty big numbers.”
Through his three seasons representing Geneve-Servette, Riat appeared in 139 games tallying a total of 59 points (28 goals, 31 points). He has appeared on the international stage representing Switzerland during under-20 tournaments and will participate in a Switzerland training camp the IIHF World Championship along with prospect Tobias Geisser
Riat had attended Capitals Development Camp both in 2016 and 2017.
Headline Image: Amanda Bowen
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