NHL veteran Upshall signs tryout contract (PTO)

Worth a shot? What do you think of this pick up?

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The Edmonton Oilers announced yesterday that they’ve signed 15 year NHL veteran Scottie Upshall to a professional tryout (PTO) contract. Upshall will attend the team’s training camp next month and attempt to crack the roster and earn himself an NHL contract.

The  Oilers  have signed Scottie Upshall to a PTO contract. The forward & Fort McMurray native has played 759 NHL regular season games & has spent the last three years in St. Louis, tallying 7G, 12A over 63 games in 2017-18.

Upshall, you may recall took a similar path to earning himself a contract last season. He signed a PTO with the Vancouver Canucks and played with the team for the majority of the preseason before inking a one year deal with his former team the St. Louis Blues. Clearly, Upshall is betting that this strategy will pay off for himself once again in 2018-19. The 34 year old native of Fort McMurray, Alberta scored seven goals and 19 points in 63 games with the Blues last season and has 138 goals and 285 points in 759 games over the course of his NHL career. He previously played for the Blues, Florida Panthers, Columbus Blue Jackets, Phoenix Coyotes, Philadelphia Flyers and Nashville Predators. The latter of which selected him 6th overall in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft. 

Internationally, Upshall has represented his native Canada four times, earning silver medals in back to back IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships in 2002 and 2003 and at the 2009 IIHF World Hockey Championship. He also won gold at the 2000 Four Nations Cup (Under 18 championship).

While he has never quite lived up to his draft status, Upshall has been an effective and steady NHLer for a decade and a half. The 6 foot, 200 pound winger is an excellent penalty killer and can add some much needed grit and physicality to the Oilers’ third and fourth line forward groups.

Earlier this month Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli made an appearance on Edmonton’s 630 CHED radio station and addressed his team’s lack of depth, particularly at the forward position and outlined his plan to survey the market for potential fit on a PTO. With Upshall, it seems Chiarelli has found his man.

“I’ve been asked quite a bit about that 14th forward,” Chiarelli said to Oilers Now host Bob Stauffer. “We’ve talked to a number of players on PTOs. We’re going to look at waivers and see what’s available there.”

Now, this doesn’t guarantee that Upshall nails down a spot. That’s still up to him, but it’s clear from Chiarelli’s words that Upshall has the inside track.