Ambrì-Piotta lost Robert Sabolic who got injured. Moreover, the recovery of Jiri Novotny is taking longer than expected… that is why the club needed a new import player and found a very experienced guy. We’re talking about Scottie Upshall (183cm, 91kg).
Let’s get to know more about this Canadian forward.
Date of Birth: 8 ottobre 1983
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Scottie Upshall was born on October 7th, 1983, in Fort McMurray (AB, Canada). The latter is a city located in Northern Alberta, 400km from Edmonton. It’s right in Fort McMurray that Scottie started to play hockey. As a youth, he played in the 1996 and 1997 Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournaments with a minor ice hockey team from his city.
Starting from 2000 then, he joined the Kamloops Blazers in the Western Hockey League. The same team for which also few Swiss players played in the past. Hnat Domenichelli (1992-1996), Michael Fora (2014-15), Janick Steinmann (2005-06), Justin Sigrist (2017-18), Edson Harlacher (2013-14) and Inaki Bargano (currently at the club). Overall, Upshall played three seasons for the Kamloops’ based team, sharing the locker room also with the former Rapperswil Jared Aulin.
THE DRAFT… THE NHL AND THE AHL
Scottie Upshall was then drafted in 2002 (6th overall position) by the Nashville Predators, and it took him a while to become a full-time NHL player.
Between the 2002-03 and the 2006-07 season in fact, he was part of the Predators organization but struggled to play constantly in the NHL. In fact, he spent his first season mainly in the WHL again with the Kamloops and collected only few sporadic appearances in the NHL (1 goal!) and in the AHL. After that first season, he played again both for the Nashville Predators (NHL) and their farm-team Milwaukee Admirals (AHL).
THE TURNING POINT
We think it’s safe to say that Scottie Upshall’s career had a turning point during the latest stages of the 2006-07 season when he joined the Philadelphia Flyers. From that moment on in fact, Scottie became an NHL player in every way.
Between 2007 and 2018 in fact, the Canadian forward played constantly in the most prestigious league of the world with the Philadelphia Flyers, the Phoenix Coyotes, the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Florida Panthers (where he was even the alternate captain for two seasons) and the St. Louis Blues.
Overall, Scottie collected 813 NHL appearances tallying 298 points. That’s not nothing.
Canada anche ai Campionati del Mondo U20 del 2003… in nessuna delle due occasioni Scottie giocò contro la Svizzera. Da notare, tuttavia, che in entrambe le occasioni il Canada arrivò in finale e le perse entrambe contro la Russia, e da notare che nel 2003 Scottie mise pure a segno una rete.
Unfortunately, then, he missed the whole 2018-19 season because of a knee injury. After that, Scottie Upshall had a PTO with the Dallas Start… but finally, he agreed terms with Ambrì-Piotta where he will stay until Christmas with the hope to play the Spengler Cup with Canada.
Scottie Upshall is a player who collected over 800 NHL appearances… we mean, it’s not often that such profile joins our National League.
In order to get to know more about him, we got in touch with someone who’s been following him from close in the past. We had the pleasure to meet Laura Astorian, site manager from St. Louis Game Time. Below, her impressions on the player.
Scottie Upshall was invited to the Blues training camp as a PTO in 2015 and became a key part of a fourth line centered by Kyle Brodziak. In St. Louis, he spent the final three seasons of his NHL career not necessarily as a scorer, or even a playmaker, but as an effective and solid forward who helped generate chances.
The Blues’ fourth line never felt like a checking line, or a shutdown line, or an enforcer line. Other teams still had to keep their eyes open when Upshall was on the ice, because he could still be lethal. He was good for ten goals playing fourth line minutes in 2016-2017, and probably would’ve cracked ten goals again the following season had he not suffered a knee injury and a lacerated kidney.
Upshall had a great sense of humor and was a locker room guy. It’s easy to see why in this clip from FoxSports Midwest
Thank you very much, Laura!
Scottie Upshall… there is no denying that many people have doubt about this transfer. Even if only because this guy is now 36 years old. Yet, we’re talking about a player who has a very good NHL reputation, and a player who can help Ambrì-Piotta, also thanks to his experience.
As Laura Astorian told us, Upshall’s performances were good also in terms of points for an NHL 4th liner. And this is something that bodes very well.
Then again, it’s true that the fact that he missed last season because of injury may be a cause for concern. Moreover, we need to wait to see if he can adapt fast to Swiss hockey and the smaller rinks. On paper, however, this guy can seriously help Ambrì-Piotta.
Welcome to Switzerland, Scottie!
Scottie Upshall represented Canada at the 2009 Worlds that were organized in Switzerland, where he played 8 games and had 1 assist! Moreover, he also represented Canada at the U20 2003 Worlds… Scottie never played against Switzerland, but as a fun fact Canada were the silver medalists on both occasions and Russia were the gold medalists on both occasions. To note, moreover, that Scottie Upshall even scored a goal during the 2003 final.