He comes from a land down under…. *has boomerang thrown at head* Ok I’ll stop.
As I drift away from bad Australian jokes this morning as Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported first the Oilers acquired off of waivers from the Washington Capitals left winger Nathan Walker. Walker, the 2014 3rd round draft pick of the Caps made headlines by being the first Australian born drafted player and also became first Aussie to score in the league earlier this season.
His hockey journey and life story truly is a global one as he was actually born in Wales, raised in Australia where he was first exposed to the game and broke into pro hockey playing in the Czech Republic with Vitkovice HC for two seasons.
In his five seasons in the Caps organization Walker spent most of his time in the AHL with the Hershey Bears tallying 34 goals and 45 assists.
His NHL time with Washington was brief as he played in just seven games with one goal, playing mainly on the fourth line with Jay Beagle and Alex Chaisson.
Whenever he makes his debut with the Oilers expect him to be on the 4th line to add more scoring punch down the wing. He’s battled injuries in his young career and struggled to truly crack the Caps roster on a consistent basis. In Edmonton he’ll get a shot, in my mind, to stick with the big club. On a team that’s been called slow at times down the other lines he’ll bring some jump with his skating.
A resulting move from this has meant that the Oilers also sent down Iiro Pakarinen to Bakersfield. In 18 games this year Pakarinen was pretty much invisible with just one helper, he hasn’t really shown me much since the 15-16 season and quite frankly I think he may be soon reaching the time to move on from him.
With the Oilers back in action on Saturday night vs Calgary the possible introduction to the franchise for Mr.Walker could possibly be one of the most heated games of the year.