This one might come as a surprise, but it would be a nice reward to bring Nathan Walker into this camp. Walker had a good year in the AHL and getting a chance to come up and practice with the NHL team would be good for him.
At this stage in his career, Walker is likely just an AHL guy. That is not to say he might not make the NHL as a bottom six guy somewhere, but the chance seems a bit small.
He is currently 26. While that’s still pretty young, it’s kind of middle-aged regarding pro athletes.
Walker did feature in five games for the Blues in 2019-20, when they were hit with a string of injuries at forward. He scored a goal and averaged over 11 minutes on the ice.
That was actually the most ice time any team has given him in the NHL. So, the Blues seem to have a bit of trust with him in their system.
Beyond just a reward, it gives him a chance to get on the ice like the other guys. I don’t want to keep harping on this point, but if things do not open back up across the country, there is likely to be no minor league hockey.
That will really set back the development of players. Walker is already what he is going to be, but even then, you lose out on chances for him to mentor players or improve enough to be one of the first call ups.
So, getting him as much ice time would be important too. Plus, he had a good year in San Antonio with 19 goals and 32 points.
It is never a bad idea to keep around a guy that can score. If nothing else, he can challenge your defenders in practice a little.