Nathan Walker Becomes First Australian to Score in the NHL

(Getty Images)


Nathan Walker, the first Australian to play in the NHL, wasted no time making an impact.

Walker scored late in the second period of the Washington Capitals' 6-1 win against the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday.

The first Australian to play in the NHL, Walker actually deflected a Devante Smith-Pelly shot into the net, but no matter – he gets credit for the goal.

The 23-year-old forward, a native of Sydney, became the first Australian player drafted by an NHL team in 2014.

Walker's big night has been an emotional one for his family.

Walker first started playing hockey when he was six and says he was inspired to pursue a professional career after watching The Mighty Ducks and Mystery, Alaska.

"All my friends back home, the hockey community there, they're all rooting for me," Walker said last August. "Every time I go home, they keep asking me when that first [NHL] game is gonna happen. It's a really close hockey community back home, so it'd be pretty big."

Walker has spent the last four seasons playing for the Hershey Bears and has 34 goals with 45 assists in 205 AHL games. His journey to the AHL was even a long one, playing in the Czech Republic from 2007-13 as well as for his hometown Sydney Ice Dogs in 2010 and '11 with a stop in Poland before heading to the United States.

He flew to New York City before taking a long bus ride to Ohio to join the Youngstown Phantoms of the USHL. He even had a six-game stint in the ECHL in 2015, playing for the South Carolina Stingrays.