Nathan Walker‘s history-making season of Ice Hockey has culminated in championship glory, with the lad himself now becoming the first player to hoist the coveted Stanley Cup as a member of a championship NHL team.
Walker, who is also the first Australian to play in the NHL period, lifted Lord Stanley today as part of the victorious Washington Capitals side, who closed out the Stanley Cup finals today, completing a 4-1 rout of the fairytale Vegas Golden Knights to secure the franchise’s first-ever Cup victory.
Walker did not see ice time throughout the Finals series against Vegas, but maintained a spot on the Caps’ depth chart for the finals, meaning he was present today in Las Vegas to lift the cup with the rest of his teammates.
— Burnie08mac (@burnie08mac) June 8, 2018
Walker, a left winger, saw ice time in one game of the playoffs, taking the ice in game six of the Capitals’ second round matchup against the Pittsburgh Penguins, registering one assist in the game. In doing so, Walker also became the first Australian to play in an NHL Playoff game, and the first Australian to score a point in one as well.
Walker’s road to the Stanley Cup was a bumpy one: after making the Capitals’ opening night roster at the start of the season, he was waived by the team on the 30th of November, subsequently being claimed by the Edmonton Oilers. However, his stint at the Oilers was short-lived, with the Canadian side placing him back onto waivers on December 19th, after which Washington re-claimed him and he returned to D.C.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull reportedly phoned Walker not long after Washington secured the victory to congratulate Walker on the feat.
— Malcolm Turnbull (@TurnbullMalcolm) June 8, 2018
League veteran Alex Ovechkin not only secured his elusive first Stanley Cup win as a player, but took out the Conn Smythe trophy after being adjudged the playoffs MVP.
It’s not clear at this stage whether Walker will have his name engraved on the historic Stanley Cup trophy; a player has to have played during the Finals to automatically qualify.
However the Capitals have three spots free on their engraving list to dish out as they see fit, and the historical significance of Walker being a member of the team puts him in good stead for consideration.
Caps who automatically make the Stanley Cup engraving:
Three spots left, who gets them?
— Kyle Grantham (@kylegrantham) June 8, 2018
HELL YEAH STORMY!
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