Two seasons ago, Caps prospect Nathan Walker tore his ACL, ending his season early with the Hershey Bears. During the summer, the Capitals asked the Australian forward to rehab in Washington, but Walker needed a place to stay.
Renting an apartment or a hotel would be expensive for a young prospect on an AHL salary. So Caps goaltender Braden Holtby invited Walker to live at his house with his wife and two kids.
“It worked out really good,” Braden Holtby said to CSN Mid-Atlantic’s Jill Sorenson. “He house-sat for us and came back. My son won’t let him leave now. So he’s roped in every year.”
Braden wasn’t kidding. Walker is once again living with the Holtbys ahead of training camp.
“I like playing with the kids,” Walker said. “It’s good fun. They’ve got some pretty good toys that remind me of my childhood.”
Walker, who described Holtby as “a little bit of both” a dad and brother, does his fair share of chores around the house. He makes tea for Holtby’s wife every night, he cooks delicious meals, and babysits the kids.
“He’s obviously got a new fiancee,” Holtby said. “He’s learning the ropes of having kids around all the time. It’s pretty good birth control for him I think.”
The living situation appears to be helping Walker mature.
“[It’s helped me learn] how to be older than I am,” Walker said when asked about the pros of the Holtbeast being his Holtdad. “The way they handle things makes life simple. They’re really chill about everything. They take care of the kids really well. It’s good to be a part of.”
Holtby was happy to help.
“A friend needed a place to stay,” the Caps goaltender said. “That’s pretty much all it is and it’s worked out really good. Coming in early for camp shows dedication. Last thing you want to do is be paying for a hotel for a month or something like that.”
“Us older guys are here with houses,” he continued. “It’s kind of our responsibility too is to help out our teammates and make it easy for people in the organization so one day hopefully someday Walks can do that for someone.”
This Labor Day weekend, Holtby is leaving for Team Canada’s training camp, leaving Walker as the man of the house.
“The kids will obviously enjoy it,” Holtby said. “They have a lot of fun with Walks. My wife certainly enjoys it. He’s a pretty good chef. We haven’t been struggling for food that’s for sure.”
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