Damien Riat, Washington’s fourth-round draft pick in 2016, has officially signed a two-year entry-level contract with the Caps. The deal will begin in the 2020-21 season, as Riat is finishing off a two-year deal with the NLA team Biel-Bienne in Switzerland.
The 23-year-old forward’s contract will carry an annual average value of $817,500.
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 past two seasons representing EHC Biel-Bienne, Riat has appeared in 84 games tallying a total of 47 points (22 goals, 25 assists). In addition, he played in 12 playoff games scoring three goals and one assist.
He has appeared on the international stage representing Switzerland during under-20 tournaments and played with Jonas Siegenthaler at the 2017 World Junior Championship.
Riat attended Capitals Development Camp in 2016, 2017, and 2019.
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ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have signed forward Damien Riat to a two-year entry level contract, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today. Riat’s contract will carry an average annual value of $817,500.
The Capitals selected Riat with their fourth-round pick, 117th overall, in the 2016 NHL Draft.
Riat, 23, has recorded 22 points (11g, 11a) in 36 games with EHC Biel-Bienne in the National League in Switzerland this season. The 6’0”, 180-pound forward leads EHC Biel-Bienne in penalty minutes (57) and ranks fifth on the team in goals. In 223 career games in the National League, Riat has recorded 106 points (50g, 56a).
Prior to the National League, the Geneva, Switzerland, native played two seasons in the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League, winning the league championship with Notre Dame in 2013-14. Riat played 40 games with Malmö’s U-20 affiliate in Sweden’s SuperElit in the 2014-15 season, registering 14 points (7g, 7a) and made his debut in Sweden’s professional Allsvenskan league as a 17 year old that same season.
Riat earned a silver medal with Switzerland at the 2018 IIHF World Championship, posting a +1 plus/minus rating in six games played. Riat also represented Switzerland at the 2016 and 2017 World Junior Championships, recording a combined 10 points (3g, 7a) in 11 games in the two tournaments.
Headline photo: Cara Bahniuk
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