ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have loaned Damien Riat to the Geneve-Servette Hockey Club of the Swiss National League and Tobias Geisser to EV Zug of the Swiss National League to begin the 2020-21 hockey season, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today. It is expected that the Capitals will recall both players to North America when the organization’s 2020-21 training camps open.
As we noted last week, both Riat and Geisser are slated to compete for a position with the Hershey Bears this season. However, at the recommendation of the AHL’s Return to Play Task Force, the Board of Governors approved Last week moving the anticipated start of the 2020-21 regular season to December 4, 2020, due to the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis. (More here.)
It is expected that both players will be recalled when the 2020-2021 AHL season begins.
No official announcement has been made regarding other prospect reassignments, including Axel Jonsson-Fjallby, Alex Alexeyev and Connor McMichael.
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The Capitals selected Riat with their fourth-round pick, 117th overall, in the 2016 NHL Draft.
Riat, 23, 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 led EHC Biel-Bienne in penalty minutes (57) and ranked fifth on the team in goals. In 223 career games in the National League, Riat has recorded 106 points (50g, 56a).
The Capitals selected Geisser with their fourth-round pick, 120th overall, in the 2017 NHL Draft.
Geisser, 21, appeared in seven games for the Hershey Bears this year (AHL) and 25 for EV Zug, recording two assists. The 6’4”, 201-pound defenseman has appeared in 77 career games in the National League, recording nine points (2g, 7a).
Riat released a statement through Geneve-Servette: “I trained hard this summer. So it’s a great opportunity for me to be able to play in Switzerland at the start of the season and to renew my links with the Club that trained me. I take this opportunity to thank Mr. Strawson, Pat Emond and Marc Gautschi for the confidence. Their enthusiasm largely outweighed my choice, which is above all a sporting choice. The Washington Capitals will have made this project possible with their loan.
I can not wait to return to the locker room with a team full of ambition for this new season and to find former teammates that I know well as well as my brother.
With the Geneva public who will heat up the atmosphere and all together we clearly have a great card to play. Wonderful challenge, I’m ready … ”