Skip to main content
The Official Site of the Washington Capitals

Walker's Amazing Week

Caps forward Nathan Walker became the first Australian-national player to debut in the NHL and that was only the beginning of a very memorable week

by Washington Capitals @Capitals /

Nathan Walker played 202 career AHL games with the Hershey Bears, earning 79 points (34g, 45a). He was named Hershey's 2016 Man of the Year, Unsung Hero and Most Improved Player. But it wasn't until the 2017-18 season that his dream was finally realized - to play in the National Hockey League.

Walker was one of the biggest storylines to start of the season. Management and coaching staff had identified him as a candidate to make the leap from the AHL to the NHL. John Walton caught up with him during 2017 Training Camp at Kettler Capitals Iceplex.

Video: Rinkside Update | Nathan Walker

Nathan had a fantastic Camp with the Washington Capitals, scoring a goal against the New Jersey Devils in the first preseason game of the year and earning a roster spot.

Video: WSH@NJD: Walker buries rebound to tally SHG

After making the team out of training camp, Nathan and his fiancé visited the Australian Embassy in Washington, D.C. where they got to meet the aptly named Australian Ambassador Joe Hockey. This was just the start of what would be a wild week for #79.

Video: Nathan Walker visits the Australian Embassy in D.C.

After the season opener in Ottawa where Walker was a healthy scratch, the team announced that Nathan would be making his debut against the Montreal Canadiens on opening night. Before the game, he met with the media to talk about his excitement of becoming the first Australian to play in the NHL.

Video: Nathan Walker | October 7 

The team surprised Walker by asking athletes from around the Australian sporting world to send in their congratulations for Nathan.

Video: Congrats, Nathan!

Finally - it was game time and Nathan got the chance to make history in his NHL Debut with his parents and brother in town at Capital One Arena to watch the game.

Video: See the 2016-17 Caps introductions from Opening Night

As if just playing in this game wasn't a big enough deal for Walker, in the midst of a 6-1 win against the Canadiens, he netted his first NHL goal.

Video: MTL@WSH: First NHL Aussie Walker scores in debut 

Walker was grinning from ear to ear after the game as he spoke with the media.

Video: Nathan Walker Postgame | October 7

His coach Barry Trotz even got emotional when talking about Nathan's historic moment with his family in the building.

Video: Barry Trotz on Nathan Walker | October 7

The following day the team flew to Tampa Bay to take on the Lightning. When he arrived at the team hotel - another surprise. The Prime Minister of Australia Malcolm Turbull had set up a call with him. An unreal moment.

Video: Walker Speaks With Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull

This will be a hard week for Nathan to ever match - more than just a g'day, it was a memory of a lifetime and a lot of hard work paying off.

Video: Nathan Walker's Best Week Ever

View More