Seemingly, Raphael Diaz is a lot more than that.

The 25-year-old free agent signed by the Canadiens on Friday was named the best defenceman in the Swiss National League A, notching 39 points in 45 games playing alongside Glen Metropolit and Paul DiPietro for EV Zug.

Diaz is not huge at 5-foot-11, 194 pounds, but he's not exactly tiny either.

He is a mainstay on the Swiss national team, scoring three goals in six games at the current World Hockey Championships and he also played in the Vancouver Olympics.

His arrival may appear to be a depth move at first, and Diaz will almost assuredly begin next season in Hamilton, but he seems like an intriguing pick up.

I had a chance to exchange some messages on Twitter on Friday with a beat writer for the Zug team, Nicola Berger of the Lucerne newspaper Neue Luzerner Zeitung, and asked him for a quick scouting report. Here's what he said:

"He's as steady as it gets. Might be a little undersized, but will make up with work ethic. Last off the ice in every practice.

"Smooth skater, good vision. Worked the point pretty well last season, but could shoot more. Has been the best Swiss D at the WC."

I asked Berger if Diaz is comparable to Yannick Weber.

"Not really. He's way better in his own end than Weber. Needs to add some muscles over the summer however. He said, he will :)"

Diaz signed a two-way deal that will pay him $810,000 with a $90,000 signing bonus, making his NHL cap hit $900,000.

It's impossible to say what kind of potential impact Diaz could have in Montreal this season, but with the compliments from an independent observer like Berger, and the effusive praise Diaz's Swiss agent Gaétan Voisard laid on Marc-Antoine Godin of La Presse in his story should be enough to pique your interest.

Add in the fact the Canadiens appear to have beaten Anaheim, Chicago, Tampa and the Rangers to the punch, and Diaz may even rival the news of Alexei Yemelin's imminent signing in terms of curiosity level for training camp in the fall.