The Edmonton Oilers placed former-Capital forward Nathan Walker on waivers in an effort to make room to call up forward Anton Slepyshev from the AHL’s Bakersfield Condors. The Oilers also placed defenseman Oscar Klefbom on injured reserve.
The Oilers claimed Walker on December 1 after the Capitals waived him on November 30. Walker, 23, was a -1 and had two penalty minutes in two games with the Oilers. He dressed in the Oilers’ 5-3 victory over the San Jose Sharks last night at Rogers Place. The Oilers are next in action on Thursday night against the St. Louis Blues at home.
During his time in Washington, he scored a goal in his first career NHL game but failed to register another point in 7 games with the Capitals after making the team out of training camp. He saw forwards Alex Chiasson and Devante Smith-Pelly pass him on the depth chart. His last game for the Capitals was on November 16, a 6-2 loss at the Colorado Avalanche.
The Capitals signed Walker to a two-year, two-way contract on June 1, a month before he was eligible to become a restricted free agent. The Capitals drafted Walker 89th overall in the 2014 NHL Draft, making him he first Australian player drafted in the NHL.
He amassed 200 games with the Hershey Bears over parts of four seasons. He played six games with the ECHL’s South Carolina Stingrays in 2014-15, producing two goals and four points over that span. During his time in Hershey, he scored 34 goals and 79 points. He was also a +30 during his career as a Bear. He had a career high 17 goals and 41 points in 73 games during the 2015-16 campaign. Last season, he had 11 goals and 23 points in 58 games. He’s also totaled 144 career penalty minutes during his time in Hershey. He had two goals and six points in 12 playoff games with the Bears last year.
Walker scored in his first preseason game with the Capitals this season. That marked his only point in three preseason contests with the Capitals this past September.
The Capitals will have an opportunity to claim Walker back but with how well the Capitals have done as of late and the fact that the Oilers weren’t the only team to submit a claim before he went to Edmonton, do not get too excited yet.
The Capitals visit the Stars to start a three-game west coast road trip on Tuesday night at 8:30.
By Harrison Brown