What to Expect From Nathan Walker In His NHL Debut

Posted October 6, 2017

(Caps Outsider)

The Capitals announced today that Nathan Walker will make his NHL debut in the Caps’ home opener on Saturday against Montreal, making him the first Australian to play in the NHL.

An Australian playing in the NHL is like ‘the Jamaican bobsled team,’ according to Barry Trotz, when asked of being a part of this.

Walker was drafted 89th overall by the Caps in 2014, but Walker had already been through the draft once before. After he went undrafted, Walker signed a contact with Hershey where he had 11 points in 43 games during the 2013-14 season.

Walker has put up great numbers in the AHL, 89 points in 202 games, and is more than ready for the NHL. He even put up great analytical numbers. “I think Walker is as close to anybody. He plays the game the right way. He’s a 200 foot player. He gets in on the forecheck [too],” said Troy Mann, head coach of the Bears, during development camp.

That “200 foot game” is exactly what you should expect from Walker. In his time in Hershey, he used his speed and tenacity to get into the dirty areas and fight for the puck despite his smaller statue. Do not be surprised if Walker sees some time on the penalty kill. Walker aggressively attacks the puck carrier to force turnovers and get the puck out of the zone.

In the offensive zone, expect Walker to go to those so-called “dirty areas” and in front of the net to cause a disruption. Walker also has tremendous stick skills. If you give him the space, he will make you pay. Walker is also great at sing his speed to draw penalties.

For Caps fans who have no seen Walker play a lot, enjoy Saturday, you’re in for a treat.

Check out these photos of Walker as a child, via the Caps.