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Fust Joins Black Hawks

January 12, 2022 - United States Hockey League (USHL) - Waterloo Black Hawks News Release

Waterloo, Iowa - From Austria to Slovakia and Japan to Germany, hockey players come to Waterloo from an array of origins, but forward Ray Fust may be the first Black Hawk from Switzerland.

Waterloo acquired Fust Wednesday through a trade with the Sioux Falls Stampede in exchange for forward Michael LaStarza. The 19-year-old Fust is spending his first season in the United States Hockey League. Skating for Sioux Falls, he had four goals and four assists in 22 games. During the coronavirus-altered 2020/21 season, Fust took the ice for the British Columbia Hockey League's Chilliwack Chiefs, notching eight goals - including two game-winners - plus two assists over 20 appearances. He also has U.S. prep hockey experience, as well as stints with various Swiss national teams for his age group.

"We are extremely excited to add Ray Fust to our roster," said Black Hawks General Manager Bryn Chyzyk. "We wanted to acquire some size up front and we feel like Ray will fit in well with our style of play."

Fust stands at six-feet, three-inches and is committed to Nebraska-Omaha, also the future destination of his new Hawks teammate Conner Schneider. Young Arena's Olympic-sized playing surface should align with Fust's international hockey background. He represented Switzerland during the 2021 World Junior Championships in Alberta, recording one assist in four appearances.

LaStarza was in his second season with the Black Hawks and had 22 points (eight goals, 14 assists) in 25 games. As part Wednesday's trade, Waterloo will receive up to three selections in future USHL Drafts (2022 Phase I-Second Round, 2022 Phase II-Fourth Round, conditional 2023 Phase II-Second Round) in exchange for one conditional pick (2023 conditional Phase II-Fifth Round).

Fust will likely make his Black Hawks debut this weekend as the team visits the Des Moines Buccaneers on Friday and the Dubuque Fighting Saints Saturday. Waterloo's next home game is January 22nd against the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders.

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