Québec, QC – It was quite a surprise when the Canadiens announced the acquisition of Swiss D-man Rafael Diaz. It was reported (via Nicola Berger) that the agreement was for one year two-way contract which would reward the player $810 000 in the NHL.
Since we know so little about the Swiss player, I thought I’d ask my friend Swisshabs to tell us more about him. So here goes:
At only 25 years of age, Rafael Diaz has rapidly grown into the best D-man playing in Switzerland. A franchise player in the making, he spent time in the EV Zug in the junior ranks before graduating to the Swiss league A in the 2003-2004 season where he became a asset at the blue line on the same team ex Habs player Glen Metropolit joined last summer. He was first selected on the national team in the 2008 WHC held in Québec City, but really started to attract the attention during the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, seizing the spot left vacant by Mark Streit. Moreover, during the present WHC held in Slovakia, he was the most used player on the Swiss national team.
Born from a Spanish father and Swiss mother – his official given name is Raphael but he prefers to write Rafael – he spent most of his life in Zug. A soccer fanatic, he has been known to show his latin heritage with his temperament, at least with his opponents on the ice…
Until we can have a closer look at Rafael, possibly during training camp, here is a video of him: