The NHL Global Series 2023 starts in the Southern Hemisphere for the first time in days and the eager excitement is palpable. And yes, it tricks the curiosity, Have Australians played in the NHL? If so, Who is the first-ever Australian to play in the NHL? The 29-year-old Blues center Nathan Walker is the first-ever Australian to play in the National Hockey League (NHL).
Born in Cardiff, Wales to Ceri and Wayne Walker, Nathan Walker moved to Sydney when he was two. Nathan started playing ice hockey at the young age of six after watching his older brother Ryan skating the puck around the ice. He started as an Under 18 player in HC Vitkovice Steel and gradually moved to U20 and the highest level of Czech ice hockey, Czech Extraliga. Nathan also played in a couple of off-seasons for the Sydney Underdogs in AIHL. In addition to HC Vitkovice Steel, Nathan donned the jersey for Hokej Sumperk 2003 and HC Olomouc in the Czech Republic.
He was introduced into the USHL in 2012 where he played for Youngstown Phantoms. He moved on to Hershey Bears, affiliated with the Washington Capitals. Walker also played one season in ECHL with the South Carolina Stingrays.
Nathan Walker became the first-ever Australian to get selected in the NHL Draft when the Washington Capitals picked him 89th overall in the NHL Draft 2014. He became the first-ever Australian to play in the NHL on 7th October 2017 against the Habs. Walker also scored his first goal on the same day, a moment witnessed by his family. He also became the first-ever Australian to play in the NHL Playoffs and also the first to record a point. In 2018, During Ovechkin’s moment of bliss, he also became the first Welsh or Australian player to win the Stanley Cup. However, he did not get his name etched on the trophy as didn’t appear for the game.
After six years with the Capitals, He signed with the St. Louis Blues. Walker also played a certain period of time for the AHL Team, San Antonio Rampage. He also made his first-ever NHL Hattrick with the Blues against the Red Wings.
Nathan Walker, the first-ever Australian to play in the NHL, has accumulated 27 points in 111 regular season games. He also played in 5 playoff games with one point to his name.
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