Nathan Walker, the first Australian to be drafted by an NHL team, was selected in the 3rd round (89th overall) in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. Walker attended last year’s Development Camp, which ultimately earned him a spot in Hershey. Walker played for the Bears the previous season, which caught the attention of the Capitals, which led to the drafting and signing of the 5′-8″ left-handed forward.
Walker suffered a torn ACL on February 2nd, 2015 while playing for the South Carolina Stingrays. Walker underwent immediate surgery in Washington, before returning home to Australia to rehab. All indications at this point seem to point to Walker making this year’s Development Camp, however, Walker did not show up on the Teams “2014-2015 Capitals Prospect Report”.
Hockey’s Future book on Walker says “Walker is an undersized but fast skating forward who plays with an edge to his game and can be an antagonist at times. One of the oldest players taken in the 2014 NHL Draft, he is not overly gifted offensively but his desire and determination are impressive. He is still learning the positional aspects of the game at the professional level.
Sitting out the last half of the season due to injury may have set Walker back. The upcoming camp (Walker’s 3rd) will be a pivotal point in assessing Walker’s growth, and where his game is following the knee surgery.
By Jon Sorensen