Walker to Become First Australian to Play in the NHL

Photo: NHL

Washington Capitals forward Nathan Walker is scheduled to make his NHL debut against the Montreal Canadiens and will become the first Australian-national to play in the National Hockey League. The Capitals host the Canadiens on Saturday, Oct. 7 at Capital One Arena.  You can read about Walker’s “brutal path to NHL dream” here.

The Sydney, Australia, native became the first Australian drafted to the NHL after Washington selected him in the third round, 89th overall, in the 2014 NHL Draft. Walker, 23, played junior-level hockey in the Czech Republic, participating in 213 games in the Czech League’s Vitkovice program. Additionally, Walker appeared in 29 games in the USHL with the Youngstown Phantoms and recorded 27 points (7g, 20a) in the 2012-13 season. In the year prior to the 2014 draft, Walker registered 11 points (five goals, six assists) and 40 penalty minutes in 43 games with the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League (AHL). Walker has represented Australia at the 2011 IIHF World Championship Division II tournament and at the 2012 World Championship Division 1 Group B tournament.

Walker registered 23 points (11g, 12a) in 58 games with the Hershey Bears (AHL) during the 2016-17 season. The 5’9”, 186-pound left wing ranked eighth among Bears skaters in plus/minus (+11) and tied for ninth in goals. In addition, Walker set a career high with two game-winning goals in 2016-17 and tied his career high in multi-goal games (2). During the 2015-16 season, Walker registered 41 points (17g, 24a) in 73 games, setting career highs in points, goals, assists and games played. He finished the season ranked third on the team in plus/minus (+20), fourth in goals and points, fifth in games played and sixth in assists. Walker was also named Hershey’s 2016 Man of the Year, Unsung Hero and Most Improved Player. Walker earned 79 points (34g, 45a) in 202 career AHL games with Hershey.

More from the Capitals here.

Related articles:
Meet the Prospects – Nathan Walker, our one and only Australian
It’s A G’Day Mate! Nathan Walker Makes the Capitals’ Opening Night Roster
Nathan Walker Drops Ceremonial Puck in Sydney, Australia
Nathan Walker Out 4-6 Weeks
Nathan Walker Comes to Defense of Teammate, Fights Andrew Shaw
The Wizard of Auz: Capitals Development Camp Preview: Nathan Walker

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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