OK, an Aussie got drafted to ice hockey's elite professional competition, the NHL. What's the big deal, you ask?
In a week in which an Australian, Dante Exum, was drafted in US basketball's glitzy NBA at pick five and said “I'm just a kid from Melbourne”, to great acclaim, some may consider the hockey announcement insignificant.
It is not,
Sydney-raised Nathan Walker, 20, has become the first ever Australian drafted to play in the National Hockey League, the world's premier professional ice hockey competition.
The Washington Capitals traded their No.104 and No.118 picks in the fourth round to the New York Rangers to move up to the third round to ensure they grabbed Walker, who spent the 2013/2014 season playing with the Caps’ American Hockey League affiliate the Hershey Bears.
Walker being selected with pick 89 of the 2014 NHL draft is an achievement the equal of anyantipodean sportsman selected by a professional North American league.
It is the equivalent of an American being picked in an AFL draft in the second round as a midfielder, not a speculative tall placed on a rookie list.
It is the equivalent of an Australian getting drafted to the NFL as a running back, not a punter.
It is like Stephen Bradbury winning gold in speed skating at the Olympic Games, except Nathan has beaten out thousands of young prospects from all over the world's cold hockey hot spots to legitimately claim a berth on the Capitals roster. Such organisations do not hand out contracts because it makes for a good story. No field of eligible competitors has stumbled and fallen for Nathan to win his position.
He famously left Australia at 13 in order to further his career in the Czech Republic, surviving homesickness to become a pacy left-winger feisty enough to earn the nickname "Stormy".
Hundreds of thousands of Australians play basketball. It has a much celebrated Olympic presence. It should rank as a major mainstream media sport in Australia.
Ice hockey in Australia, by contrast, is a minor sport, handicapped by a lack of facilities, yet, like Nathan Walker, hitting above its weight. Since the opening of the Icehouse in Melbourne's Docklands in 2010, the quality of the national league has improved year upon year.
National teams at all levels continue to perform strongly. Fox Sports televises the Australian Ice Hockey League's game of the week, and the fully amateur league is attracting fans and sponsors like never before.
Ice hockey is the smallest of North Americas major sports, but it is a big deal. Its stars reap multi-million dollar deals, it has franchises from Los Angeles to Montreal, and it is the national obsession of Canada and many Northern European nations.
Nathan Walker, all 178 centimetres of him, is an Australian success story, and Dante Exum and Adam Scott, ensconsed in the US, will know it.
Hopefully, some of their fellow Australians will also soon realise the magnitude of Walker's achievement.
Walker's wares will be on show at July's international exhibtion series, which features AHL and NHL players.
Here's what the Washington Capitals wrote about the drafting of Nathan Walker: "Washington knows Walker well; he has attended both development and regular training camps at Kettler and acquitted himself quite well last fall in preseason action against other NHL clubs. Playing for AHL Hershey last season, Walker totaled five goals and 11 points in 43 games.
"The Caps were well aware that he had attracted attention from other pro scouts while playing in Hershey and figured they’d need to grab him by the end of the third round if they wanted to ensure having him in the organisation.
"Walker has great speed and a strong work ethic and best of all, the Caps don’t need to wait for him as they would if they had taken an 18-year-old kid from junior hockey with this pick. He already has a season of pro hockey under his belt and is quite familiar with the Caps’ organisation."