Nathan Walker becomes first Australian to lift NHL's Stanley Cup with Washington Capitals

Picture: AP

Picture: AP

Nathan Walker has created more history, becoming the first Australian to lift ice hockey’s most prestigious prize – the Stanley Cup.

Walker has blazed a trail for Australians in the NHL this season, becoming the first Aussie to play in the competition and scoring on debut for Washington in their first home game of the season in October.

The speedy 24-year-old winger then became the first Australian to play in a play-off game as he helped the Capitals reach the deciding series against the Las Vegas Golden Knights.

Washington won the cup for the first time in their 44-year franchise history with a 4-3 win over the Golden Knights in game five on Friday (AEST) to clinch a 4-1 victory in the best-of-seven championship series.

Walker didn’t feature in the championship series but played one game in the play-offs, recording an assist, and was on hand in Las Vegas to lift the trophy and celebrate with his teammates. 

He played nine games overall with Washington and twice during a brief mid-season stint with Edmonton after he was waived by the Capitals and claimed by the Oilers, only to be claimed back by Washington when Edmonton waived him again three weeks later. 

Walker, who grew up in Cronulla, became the first Australian drafted into the NHL when the Capitals picked him up in 2014.

Walker started out playing inline hockey at age 6 and progressed to ice hockey, travelling to the ice rink in Blacktown. 

He then moved to the Czech Republic to pursue a career in the sport when he was 13-years-old.

Walker moved to the United States in 2013 joining the Youngstown Phantoms before shifting to the Hershey Bears – an affiliate team for the Capitals. 

He then turned plenty of heads at the Capitals during a strong pre-season to earn a spot on the Capitals’ roster.

Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull also sent Walker a message of congratulations via social media.

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