The Nashville Predators and Scottie Upshall recently agreed on a three-year contract, ensuring that Upshall will at least start the season with the Nashville Predators. The team’s first selection, sixth overall, in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft made the 23-man roster with a solid training camp and a good showing on a line centered by David Legwand.
The 5-11, 184-pound Upshall finished second in scoring with 83 points (32g, 51a) while logging 139 penalty minutes with the Kamloops Blazers of the Western Hockey League last season. Upshall also was tied for the Predators team lead with five points (1g-4a) in five games in the 2002 preseason.
In order to make room for Scott, forward Adam Hall was sent to Milwaukee to begin the season with the Admirals. Upshall can play up to nine games with Nashville and still be returned to the juniors; if Nashville chooses this route, Upshall’s contract will not kick in until next year.
Upshall showed in training camp that he is tough enough and quick enough to play with the big boys of the National Hockey League. The question is not if Upshall is a NHL player, since most observers agree that he will be a solid player for years to come for the Nashville Predators. Is Scottie Upshall physically ready for the NHL? No, probably not. Would it benefit him to play another year at the junior level and gain more experience and more ice time? Probably so. For now, however, fans have the opportunity to see this kid play. Upshall will likely be a fan favorite in Nashville. He will wear the number seven and play right wing for the Predators.
Johnson Named Captain
After serving as assistant captain through the first four seasons in Nashville, Greg Johnson will now wear the “C” and serve as Nashville’s captain. Johnson is the second captain in franchise history. Tom Fitzgerald, the only player to wear the “C” for Nashville, was traded to Chicago last year. Bill Houlder and Kimmo Timonen will serve as assistant captains at home, while Brent Gilchrist and Scott Walker will wear the “A” on the road.
Arkhipov Charged With DUI
Nashville Predators center Denis Arkhipov was arrested and charged with a DUI earlier this week. The forward will be disciplined within the organization. Arkhipov is expected to be in the lineup for the opener on Friday.
Nashville prospect Jordin Tootoo has been more than impressive thus far in the WHL. Tootoo leads the league in scoring and shows no signs of letting up any time soon. Tootoo was Nashville’s sixth round pick, 98th overall, in the 2001 Entry Draft. He is considered small by NHL standards, but Tootoo always seems to make big plays, and plays much bigger than his small stature would indicate.
Milwaukee Roster Taking Shape
The Milwaukee Admirals were undefeated during the pre-season and are hoping to continue their streak into the season. Dan Hamhuis, Adam Hall, Darren Haydar, Jonas Andersson, Andrew Hutchinson, Robert Schnabel, Jan Lasak and many other Nashville prospects are on the Admirals roster this season. Haydar, who led the nation in scoring last year in the college ranks, and Hamhuis will both be playing for the first time in the AHL. Hall and Hutchinson each made brief debuts last year with Milwaukee. The new season begins Saturday, Oct. 12 at home against the San Antonio Rampage.
Nashville’s Opening Day Roster
Italics denote players who were originally drafted by Nashville.
Coming Up …
– Regular Season begins, Predators vs. Capitals Friday, Oct. 11 @ 6:00
– Home Opener, Oilers vs. PredatorsSaturday, Oct. 12 @ 7:00
– AHL Season begins, Rampage vs. AdmiralsSaturday, Oct. 12 @ 7:30