Nathan Walker became the first Australian-born player to play in the NHL earlier this season and he’ll soon become the first Australian-born player to play for a Canadian NHL team as well. The young forward was placed on waivers by the Washington Capitals yesterday and the Edmonton Oilers announced this morning that they have claimed him.
Walker, 23, had one goal in seven games for the Caps thus far this season, but played with an impressive edge in his bottom-six role. At just 5’9″, 186-lbs., Walker may not have the typical size of an energy line contributor, but makes up for it with more than enough actual energy. The disappointing Oilers could use an injection of tenacity and work ethic more than perhaps any other team in the league, making Walker a potential steal as a waiver claim.
In a corresponding move, Iiro Pakarinen has been placed on waivers by Edmonton. He joins Ottawa’s Chris DiDomenico on the wire today. Walker’s waiver wire partner yesterday, Buffalo’s Matt Tennyson, has cleared and has been sent down to the AHL’s Rochester Americans.