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Australia has 3500 registered ice hockey players, 22 rinks nationwide and now one NHL draft pick
Neil Cordy | The Daily Telegraph | June 29, 2014 10:00PM
HE’S the first Australian to be drafted into the NHL, but Nathan Walker says the job isn’t done as he sets his sights on earning himself a start in the world’s premier ice hockey competition.
Just days after the Utah Jazz took Dante Exum at No. 5 in the NBA draft, the Washington Capitals picked up Walker in the third round with pick 89.
To put Walker’s achievement in perspective, Australia has just 3500 registered ice hockey players and only 22 rinks nationwide.
The 20-year-old was at home with his family in Sydney’s southern suburbs when he heard the news he had been waiting for most of his life.
“I’m speechless. It’s still all settling in,” Walker told The Daily Telegraph on Sunday after the Capitals traded their fourth-round picks 104 and 118 to the New York Rangers to ensure they snared the Sydney-raised Walker.
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