The Capitals have a new black ace for Round Two, mate.
Wednesday, the Capitals announced that they recalled Nathan Walker from AHL Hershey. Earlier in the season, Walker became the first Australian to ever play in the NHL. A month later, Walker was put on waivers, claimed by Edmonton, cut by Edmonton, and then re-claimed by the Capitals.
Walker spent the rest of the season in the AHL and scored nine goals 40 games. During his time in DC, Walker showed promise in a fourth line role, but will likely not play in the playoffs.
More from the Capitals:
The Washington Capitals have recalled forward Nathan Walker from the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League (AHL), senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today.
Walker scored his first NHL goal in his NHL debut on Oct. 7 against the Montreal Canadiens, and played in seven games for the Capitals this season. The Sydney, Australia, native became the first Australian-national to play in the NHL when he made his debut versus the Canadiens. Additionally, Walker appeared in two games for the Edmonton Oilers after being claimed off waivers from Washington.
Walker, 24, recorded 22 points (9g, 13a) and 36 penalty minutes in 40 games with Hershey this season, and his 0.55 points per game were tied for the third most among the Bears with at least 40 games played. Additionally, the 5’9″, 186-pound left wing recorded five multi-point games and two multi-goal games.
Walker registered 23 points (11g, 12a) in 58 games with the Bears during the 2016-17 season. Walker 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 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 has earned 101 points (43g, 58a) in 242 career AHL games with Hershey.
Walker holds the distinction of being the first Australian drafted to the NHL after Washington selected him in the third round, 89th overall, in the 2014 NHL Draft. Walker 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 Bears. Walker represented Australia at the 2011 IIHF World Championship Division II tournament and at the 2012 World Championship Division 1 Group B tournament.
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