So Nathan Walker could be the first Australian to play in the NHL. Anyone who doesn’t follow hockey would say, “So What”.
Well looking at the big three sports, the NFL, NBA and NHL, there has been Australians that blazed a path and opened a trail for many to follow.
The 1987 NFL Draft was a big moment in Australian sport when Sydney local, Colin Scotts was drafted into the NFL.
Scotts was first scouted by the University of Hawaii. It is probably less known the Balmain Tigers Rugby League legend, Paul Sironen followed in his footsteps but home sickness got the better of him.
In 1991 Luc Longley was drafted in the NBA to Minnesota Timberwolves before heading to the Michael Jordan led Chicago Bulls where enjoyed success and NBA Championships.
This made Longley a household name and gave young kids in Australia belief they could do the same, and they did.
Walker has been the first Australian to play in the AHL and he is the best chance of being the first Australian to play in the NHL.
This will show kids in Australia that it can be done and the path will have been opened.
Is it such a big deal? To lay down a path to for others to follow, I think it is.