Another day, another option on the waiver wire that’d offer something useful to the Minnesota Wild.
Per NBC Sports Washington, the first Australian to play in the NHL, Nathan Walker was waived today. He is a gritty and determined winger that slots into the depth positions well. He would be ideal in ensuring that the Minnesota Wild bring their depth lines’ average age down.
Not only that, he would bring Australian attention to the Minnesota Wild. Whether marketing is considered of value in a waiver acquisition is questionable, but it’s a near guarantee that it earns a mention or two in Australia.
Realistically, he’d be a depth signing and nothing more. The Minnesota Wild already have plenty of options for those sorts of roles, what with Matt Hendricks, J.T. Brown, Matt Read and even Justin Kloos chomping at the bit for a spot in the NHL line-up.
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Do you acquire depth talent just to spite the Washington Capitals for trying to send him down to their minor league affiliate, the Hershey Bears?
In the NHL, he’s struggled to regularly make the line-up; when he does play, his work ethic really shines through.
Here’s a player that is most definitely the plucky underdog, especially when you consider where he started his hockey career.
He only has a tally of 12 NHL games to his name, split between the Washington Capitals and Edmonton Oilers, who claimed him off waivers last year before they too waived him.
In those games, he’s managed a singular goal and assist so isn’t going to suddenly evolve into a twenty-point scorer or anything, but it’s the motor and tenacity he brings that could be of value to the Minnesota Wild.
We all know Bruce Boudreau, with his pre-season skate test, loves a player that works hard and Nathan Walker’s career trajectory epitomises that hard work and determination.
If he were acquired, Boudreau would very likely know how to extract the utmost from his game.
At this point, he represents a player with as much upside as someone like J.T. Brown, who despite netting his first Minnesota Wild goal still is only logging 8 minutes a game.
The risk seems well worth it. What’s more, if you claim him off waivers, what’s saying you can’t put him back on waivers if he under-performs.