The New York Islanders have placed Yannick Rathgeb on unconditional waivers according to CapFriendly. Rathgeb will see his contract terminated, making him an unrestricted free agent and able to return to Switzerland if he so chooses.
Rathgeb, 23, signed a two-year entry-level contract with the Islanders in April of 2018, but obviously failed to find a fit in the organization. The Swiss defenseman was undrafted after playing two seasons in the OHL, but had been dominating the NLA for a few years when he finally got the contract. He played just 32 games for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers this season, recording nine points in the process.
It isn’t ideal for the Islanders to lose a player with the upside of Rathgeb, but his desire to return home makes sense if he isn’t going to get a shot at the NHL. It also allows him to continue to develop overseas and perhaps attempt a North American comeback down the road. The smooth skating defenseman had 89 points in 133 games during the three seasons prior to his signing with the Islanders, production that won’t be overlooked if it continues.