While it comes as no surprise after an impressive training camp and preseason, forward Nathan Walker has made the Capitals’ Opening Night roster, albeit currently as an extra, which provides him the potential of becoming the first Australian to ever play in an NHL game.
Drafted by the Caps with the 89th overall pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, the 23-year old forward has impressed many in the organization with his performance during the preseason and training camp.
Considered to be the organization’s most NHL-ready prospect by Hershey Bears Head Coach Troy Mann, Walker’s journey to the NHL has come through hard work and perseverance. What he lacks in size (5’9″, 192 pounds) he makes up for in his style of play. Walker, while small, is not afraid to stand up for himself and his teammates and can also contribute offensively if the need arises. He plays a solid two-way game with fantastic speed, which should help the Caps after the losses of multiple key defensemen this past offseason.
Walker has spent the last three seasons in Hershey with the Bears and signed a two-year contract this summer to remain with the organization. As mentioned above, he has long been considered one of the Capitals’ most promising prospects and will likely see time on the fourth-line with Caps center Jay Beagle this season. With the season just a day away, fans won’t have to wait long to see the man from the Land Down Under make history as the first Australian to ever suit up for an NHL contest.
By Michael Fleetwood