The Washington Capitals announced on Thursday that it is loaning 24-year-old forward prospect, Damien Riat, to the Lausanne HC of the Swiss National League.
According to the Capitals, Riat will be eligible to return to North America at the conclusion of the National League’s 2021-22 season.
Damien Riat rejoint le Lausanne Hockey Club !
— Lausanne Hockey Club (@lausannehc) August 12, 2021
“I am a complete player, who works very hard both in attack and defense, I take my role very seriously,” Riat said in a Google-translated press release posted by Lausanne HC. “I come to Lausanne because Petr Svoboda and John Fust quickly showed a lot of interest in me and because all the conditions are right here to make this opportunity something exciting. I saw in Lausanne possibilities of a unique level in Switzerland, it is clearly very motivating. And I can’t wait to get back on the ice as soon as possible, especially since I am not landing on unfamiliar territory since I know several players with whom I have already played, either in club or with the national team. I am very happy! ”
Riat made his organizational debut for the Capitals in 2021, tallying nine points (3g, 6a) in 33 games for the Hershey Bears. Riat scored his first career AHL goal on February 17, which ended up being the game-winning goal in a 2-1 win over the Binghamton Devils.
— Hershey Bears (@TheHersheyBears) February 18, 2021
The Bears were the best team in the AHL last season, posting a 24-7-2 record under recently departed head coach Spencer Carbury. Riat spent most of his time in the middle six.
— Damien Riat (@DamienRiat) May 15, 2021
The Capitals prospect played the first part of the season on loan in Switzerland as well with Genève-Servette HC, and was nearly a point-per-game player, posting 18 points in 20 games.
Riat, a fourth-round pick by the Capitals in the 2016 NHL Draft, would likely not have had a big role on a deep Hershey Bears team and both sides likely believed he’d develop better in Switzerland with more ice time.
The Athletic’s Tarik El-Bashir thought Riat could have been a possible call-up next season before the loan agreement was announced.
— Tarik El-Bashir (@Tarik_ElBashir) August 12, 2021
Here’s the full press release from the Capitals:
Capitals Loan Damien Riat to Lausanne HC
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have loaned forward Damien Riat to Lausanne HC of the National League (Switzerland) for the 2021-22 season, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today. Riat will be eligible to return to North America at the conclusion of the National League’s 2021-22 season.
Riat, 24, recorded nine points (3g, 6a) in 33 games with Hershey during the 2020-21 season, his first in the AHL. The 6’0”, 180-pound forward ranked second among Hershey rookies in goals, assists and points, and was one of five skaters to appear in every game for the Bears.
The Geneva, Switzerland, native also appeared in 20 games while on loan to Genève-Servette HC of the National League in 2020-21, where he recorded 18 points (7g, 11a). In 243 career games in the National League, Riat has recorded 124 points (57g, 67a).
The Capitals selected Riat with their fourth-round pick, 117th overall, in the 2016 NHL Draft.
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