23-year old Sioux Falls native Walker Duehr of the Calgary Flames made history Thursday night as he became the first South Dakota-born player to score in the NHL. Duehr got the first goal in Calgary’s 4-1 win over the St Louis Blues.
Duehr, who was born in Sioux Falls, has spent his young career in the minors. He got in one game with Calgary in 2021 and Thursday was just his second start after being called up the previous weekend.
He says his story “shows that anybody who puts their head down and goes to work can achieve pretty great things.”
Duehr scored when took a pass from former Colorado Avalanche star Nazem Kadri late in the 2nd period and wristed a shot past St Louis goalie Thomas Greiss, who had stopped 61 successive shots over his last 3 games.
Calgary coach Darryl Sutter got a thrill out of seeing Duehr get his first goal, saying “Good for the young man. It’s awesome. Everybody always remembers their first.”
That may not be true for Duehr, who says he thinks he “blacked out” when the puck went into the net but admits ”it was a pretty cool feeling, something you dream about.”
Dillin Dube centered Duehr’s line and says “It was special to see the grin on his face. It’s a special night for sure. You enjoy it when someone does that. It was awesome, especially a big goal like that.”