Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Who Is: Nathan Walker

As I've mentioned in previous posts, I love discovering prospects - no matter how "legitimate" they are with respect to the NHL - with obscure development stories. My latest find is Nathan Walker, a 5'9" forward playing for HC Vitkovice's squad in the Czech U20 league.

Walker is the Czech U20 league's second-leading scorer with 20 goals and 20 assists in 35 games. These numbers are good enough for Walker to lead all U18 players in the league even though he is only about to have his 17th birthday on Feb. 7th. Last year Walker also proved he can score against the Czech competition, potting 42 points in 28 games for Vitkovice's U18 team.

The really cool fact about Walker's apparent success in the Czech hockey system is the fact that he is not Czech, nor is he even European. Nathan hails from Sydney, Australia - a place where hockey is typically played in a field, not on ice.

It would be very cool to see Walker's success carry on into the '11-'12 season, as he could get a legitimate shot at getting drafted in the 2012 NHL draft. Who knows, perhaps one day Nathan could become the first Australian-born player to play in the NHL.

If nothing else, I hope a CHL team sees this kid's development curve to date and takes a gamble on him in the 2011 CHL Import Draft.

4 comments:

  1. Nathan Walker (nicknamed 'Storm') was born in Wales and moved with his parents to Sydney, Australia at the age of two. He is an Australian Citizen who learnt to play in-line hockey at the age of 4 and began ice hockey shortly after. Jeff Todd, Mark Stephenson, Branislav Kromka, Ivan Manco all played a big part in Coaching Nathan to where he is at today. Nathan was offered a full sponsorship by Nike Bauer at the age of 11. Nathan played for the Blacktown Flyers in the Atoms (u11's) age group for 6 years and played up into the Bantoms age group for 4 of those years. He is a dedicated young man whose love of ice hockey took him to the Czech Republic at the young age of 13. Nathan lived with a Czech family who could not speak any English so Nathan had no option but to learn the Czech language and quickly so that he could communicate with the Coach and fellow team players!! Nathan can now speak and write Czech fluently. Nathan is a very passionate ice hockey player, it would be fantastic to see him go all the way.......

    ReplyDelete
  2. Amazingly awesome info! I'm assuming this is some super-inside information... :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Nathan was also offered a NRL (league Rugby) contract by the Cronulla Sharks at 13. Fortunately for Australian ice hockey fans he chose to go to Europe!

    ReplyDelete
  4. The information above is correct. Nathan has arrived to Czech on 6th of October 2007. Coaches from Vitkovice agreed to "have a look" at him with lot of (obvious) scepticism. When Stomy hit the ice they were shocked! He was fatesr and stronger than any player from Vitkovice's U18 team! He was 13 y.o. only. They immediatelly decided to give him a spot in U18 and U16 teams. He almoste never played his own age group, he played-up.

    Today is Nathan listed ase 25th prospect from Europe for NHL draft 2012!!! In few days Nathan will be playing at IIHF World Championship Div IB for Australia. We are looking forward for NHL draft in June in Pittsburg.
    Nathan's agent if former NHLer, Czech National Team player, World Champion, Mr. Vladimir Vujtek.

    ReplyDelete