The Capitals announced on Friday evening that they have recalled winger Nathan Walker from the AHL’s Hershey Bears.
Walker has 34 points in 54 games with Hershey during the 2018-19 season, with 14 goals and 20 assists.
The Capitals’ game Saturday against the New York Islanders is the final one of the Capitals’ regular season and will have no impact on who they will play in the first round of the playoffs. With their win against the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday, the Capitals have already clinched first place in the Metropolitan division.
With the stakes low, Reirden was asked at his press conference after Friday’s optional skate about the possibility of some players seeing extra playing time and some regulars getting a rest.
Reirden may have alluded to the possibility of Walker being recalled in an answer he gave earlier on Friday about potentially recalling Devante Smith-Pelly, who was a playoff hero for the Capitals last postseason.
“We have not made a determination on that yet,” Reirden said. “That’s all factoring into some things that we’re doing potentially for tomorrow. We’ll have more updates on that tomorrow.”
Reirden was tight-lipped on what lineup he would play in Saturday’s game, but ended his press conference by saying, “All options are in play.”
As of now, it looks like a strong possibility Walker will be in the lineup. His last game with the Capitals was on October 17 against the New York Rangers. Last postseason, Walker assisted on Alex Chiasson’s Game 6 goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Capitals have roughly $2 million in cap space as of Friday. Players recalled after the regular season ends do not count against the salary cap.
More from the Capitals:
The Washington Capitals have recalled Nathan Walker from the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League (AHL), senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today.
Walker, 25, appeared in three games for the Capitals this season and recorded one assist. The 5’9″, 186 pound forward scored his first NHL goal in his NHL debut last season on Oct. 7, 2017 against the Montreal Canadiens, and played in seven games for the Capitals. 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 last year after being claimed off waivers from Washington.
Walker recorded 34 points (14g, 20a) and 54 penalty minutes in 54 games with Hershey this season, and his 0.63 points per game ranked fourth among the Bears with at least 20 games played. Additionally, Walker recorded eight multi-point games. In 296 career games with the Bears, Walker has 135 points (57g, 78a).
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, Walkerregistered 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.
Headline photo: Cara Bahniuk
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