In a historic moment for international hockey, Australian player Nathan Walker has been invited to the Washington Capitals rookie camp and could become the first Australian to play in the National Hockey League.
Walker is already over in North America suiting up for the Youngstown Phantoms of the USHL. He began his career in Australia at the age of 6 and was dominating the compeition. As a result, he was scouted by a coach from Slovakia and was invited to play for HC Vítkovice of the Czech Extraliga. During the offseason, he returned home and kept his form up by playing for the Sydney Ice Dogs of the Australian Ice Hockey League .
The majority of his career has been spent in the Czech Reupublic. However, at the age of 19, he has already participated in the Spengler Cup, won gold with Team Australia in 2011 at the IIHF World Championships (Division II) and played in the 2013 USHL/NHL Top Prospects game. If only the Canadian Hockey League could get his hands on him, he’d have all of North America covered!
For a second straight year, Walker was passed upon by all 30 NHL teams in the entry draft. They are definitely missing out on a top quality offensive forward. At 19 years old and a solid 5’10 frame, Walker is yet to fill himself out. He would be a welcome addition on any team, regardless of league stature. In his 29 games with Youngstown earlier this year, he notched an impressive 27 points. If it wasn’t for injuries, he was well on his way to notching 50. He has the tools to become a point a game player.
The dream is alive. Nathan Walker wants to become the first Australian to play in the National Hockey League. I have no doubt that he will.