The Washington Capitals have agreed to a two-year deal with restricted free agent forward Nathan Walker.
The Washington Capitals are looking to get younger this offseason. Assuming they lose forward Daniel Winnik to free agency, they’ll also be looking for a new fourth line left wing. Restricted free agent Nathan Walker might be a part of it. The Capitals have announced they’ve signed the Australian forward to a two-year, two-way deal.
"Walker, 23, registered 23 points (11g, 12a) in 58 games with the Hershey Bears (AHL) during the 2016-17 season. The 5’9”, 185-pound left wing ranked eighth among Bears skaters in plus/minus (+11) and tied for ninth in goals. In addition, Walker set a career high with two game-winning goals in 2016-17 and tied his career high in multi-goal games (2)."
The contract, according to Capitals beat writer Mike Vogel, is worth $650,000 per season in the NHL.
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Expect Walker to be given a chance to replace Winnik. The two have very similar playing styles, relying on their speed to create breakaways. Walker has been one of the Bears’ most consistent forwards when healthy.
However, one of his primary issues is that he hasn’t been able to stay healthy. Walker has had a number of serious injuries in recent seasons, including a torn ACL.
He’s an excellent penalty killer, often seeing time there with Hershey. Barry Trotz is a vocal fan of his, often praising his game. The Capitals drafted Walker back in 2014 after he joined the organization as a free agent.
Washington’s offseason is underway. Walker’s signing might seem like a minor signing, but don’t be surprised the Australian in the NHL to start next season.