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Caps Today 7/15/14

Stuart Ayres, Australia’s Minister for Sport and Recreation, welcomed Washington Capitals prospect Nathan Walker back to Australia on Monday after the left wing completed Capitals Development Camp on Saturday. Walker became the first Australian drafted to the NHL on June 28 after Washington selected him in the third round, 89th overall, in the 2014 NHL Draft.

“It was a great pleasure welcoming Nathan home as the first Australian athlete ever to be drafted in the National Hockey League,” Ayres said. “For a competition such as the NHL predominantly made up of Canadian, American and European players, a 20 year-old Australian being drafted is an inspiration to young athletes across the country. The people of New South Wales and Australia are going to quickly realize the magnitude of Nathan’s achievement.”

NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly joined Ayres in congratulating Walker.

“This is a historic event for the sport Down Under and having Nathan drafted, we look forward to seeing many more Aussies in years to come,” Daly said.

Walker will play as a special selection for Team USA in the International Ice Hockey Series against Canada, which includes a match in Sydney on July 26.

"Most of my friends and family have never really seen me play before so that will be very special," Walker said.

For the complete release from Ayres, click here.

For photos from Walker’s welcome home to Australia, click here and here.

Must Read/See/Hear Material

Dump ‘n Chase: Caps Close Out Summer Camp, Start Summer

Monumental Network: Fan Fest Scrimmage 1st Period / Fan Fest Scrimmage 2nd Period / Fan Fest Scrimmage 3rd Period / Fan Fest Scrimmage Highlights / Ted Leonsis from Fan Fest / Matt Niskanen from Fan Fest / Barry Trotz from Fan FestFan Fest Recap / Troy Mann Visits Fan Fest Broadcast / Barry Trotz visits Fan Fest Broadcast / Nathan Walker / Jakub Vrana / Riley Barber / Andre Burakovsky / Ceremonial Puck Drop / Development Camp Photo Gallery / Rinkside Update: Andre Burakovsky

Washington Post: ‘Unfished business’ keeps Barber at Miami / Capitals Insider: With ‘deepest’ blue line in year, how will defensive pairings look for the Caps? / Capitals Insider: Defensemen Nate Schmidt re-signs with Capitals / Capitals Insider: Ted Leonsis, Matt Niskanen talk new Caps defenseman Brooks Orpik / Garrett Haar took winding journey to ‘grow into the person I am today’ / Capitals Insider: New acquisition Matt Niskanen expects ‘really good fit’ with Capitals / Capitals Insider: Owner Ted Leonsis: New Capitals regime ‘all singing from the same songbook’ / Leftover notes from Capitals developmental camp

Comcast SportsNet: Vegas oddsmakers show no love for Caps / Caps hope for improved Hershey Bears in 2014-15 / Capitals extend defenseman Nate Schmidt /Leonsis, Niskanen on what Orpik will bring to Caps’ blueline / Niskanen: Trotz will implement accountability / Trotz lays groundwork at “exceptional” camp / Leonsis: Caps management must be “totally in sync”

NHL: Capitals re-sign defenseman Nate Schmidt / Capitals owner says new regime ‘in total sync’

Australia News: Talk of ice hockey stardom was cold comfort for mother of Australian NHL hope Nathan Walker

Hockey News: Post to Post: Larkin: Three playoff teams who could miss in 2014-15, and three non-playoff teams who could get in

NBC Sports: Leonsis: Capitals have deepest defense since he became owner / Coaches, Ovechkin influenced Niskanen in picking Caps / Capitals ink Schmidt, Vanecek

NBC Washington: Ted Leonsis, Matt Niskanen Discuss Brooks Orpik

Penn Live: D Nate Schmidt re-signs with Capitals and Hershey Bears / Hershey Bears assistant coach Bryan Helmer wins yet another cup at Washington Capitals development camp / Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis: Reinvigoration of affiliation with Hershey Bears off to good start / ‘Big Mike’ Cajkovsky may loom large for Hershey Bears in 2014-15

Sports Business Daily: Names in the News: Breaking Down Barriers on Ice

Sports Xchange: Capitals re-sign D Schmidt

Yahoo Sports: The top 5 shootout moves from this summer’s NHL development camps

Comcast SportsNet: New faces chance atmosphere around Capitals / Capitals rookies show promise in camp scrimmage

106.7 The Fan: Interview with Barry Trotz

News Channel 8: Weekend Evening Report - Capitals Fan Fest and Scrimmage

WRC-TV NBC 4: News 4 at 6 p.m. – Capitals Fan Fest and Scrimmage / News 4 at 11 p.m. – Capitals Fan Fest and Scrimmage

WTTG-TV FOX 5: 12 a.m. - On Capitals Fan Fest and Scrimmage

WUSA-TV CBS 9: WUSA9 News at 6 p.m. – Capitals Salute Supporters at Fan Fest / WUSA9 News at 11 p.m. – Capitals Salute Supporters at Fan Fest

Ted’s Take: 100K Reviews for Nanking on Netflix / The New “It” Girl / Busy Weekend for the Caps / Porter and Rice / “The Light Always Follows Darkness” / Wizards Hire David Adkins as New Player Development Coach / A Great Read and Even Greater Video Highlights / Yada Yada Yada / RIP Tommy Ramone

Japers’ Rink: Tuesday Caps Clips / Monday Caps Clips / Sunday Caps Clips / Saturday Caps Clips / Andre Burakovsky, Point Prediction and Quality of Competition

Recent Transactions

July 15: Signed Vitek Vanecek to a three-year, entry-level contract

July 13: Re-signed Nate Schmidt to a one-year, two-way contract

July 9: Signed Edward Pasquale to a one-year, two-way contract