A Charlottetown native is signed, sealed and ready to deliver.
Geoff Walker inked his first NHL contract with the Colorado Avalanche within the first hour of becoming a free agent earlier this month.
“I just decided this would be the best fit for me at this point in my career,” the 24-year-old right-winger said Tuesday.
“In Colorado there’s going to be a lot more opportunities for me to play in the NHL this year, I hope.”
Walker, who played two-and-a-half seasons with the PEI Rocket, spent the past two campaigns with Pittsburgh Penguins’ farm club in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
He scored 18 goals and set up 26 others in 68 games while collecting 114 penalty minutes. He suit up for an exhibition game with Pittsburgh against the Detroit Red Wings, but never played a regular season game.
“They are probably one of the deepest organizations in the league,” Walker explained. “It was great for me to play with them and see how a real good organization like that works.”
The six-foot-three, 225-pound forward is working out this summer in Stratford to get in the best possible shape to make the Avalanche out of training camp, which will take place in September.
Some free agents have to endure the “nervous waiting game” during the free agent frenzy that begins July 1 at noon. Walker wasn’t one of them.
“I expected it to go a couple of days at least,” he admitted.
“For them to show that much interest and call right at 12 o’clock and for my agent to call at 12:05 with the offer was pretty special.”
There were a few other teams that expressed interest in signing the forward, but Walker was pleased to become a member of the Avalanche. Terms of the two-way NHL contract were not released.
“I’m just really excited about signing my first NHL deal with a good organization like Colorado,” he said.
Just the facts:
Who: Professional hockey player
Position: Right wing
Last season: Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (AHL)
GP G A Pts Pim
68 18 26 44 114
The latest: Signed a two-way NHL contract with the Colorado Avalanche
Quote: “The last couple of years, I’ve had really good years and we’ve had real good teams in Wilkes/Barres and I feel like I’m ready to make that next step in my career.”