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.
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