Edinburgh Capitals have captured the signature of Latvian international left winger Juris Upitis.
The 26 year old former KHL forward boasts experience playing in Russia, Latvia, Belarus and Slovakia and joins compatriot Rihards Grigors on the Capitals 2017/18 roster.
The 5ft 9” and 185lb forward was born in Riga, Latvia and developed through the junior ranks in his city of birth. During his formative years Upitis won international honours for the Latvian U-18 and U-20 sides and this included captaining and top scoring for his nation at the WJC D1 championships in 2010/11 when his side won gold. The winger has gone on to make 16 appearances for the senior Latvian national side and will add to this total this coming weekend when he represents his nation in the Baltic Cup (facing off against Estonia, Lithuania and Hammarsby).
At club level the skilful winger broke in to the senior ranks and made his KHL debut in 2011 with Dinamo Riga. Over the next 4 years he played 78 times in the top league in Russia scoring 11 points. From 2014-2017 he also played in the 2nd tier of Russian hockey, the VHL, for three different clubs and in 69 games scored a very credible 37 points (0.55 points per game).
Last season he starred for HK Kurbads in Latvia where he helped the club win the Latvian Championship playing in 22 games and scoring a total of 20 points. On the roster was former Capital Marcis Zembergs and he said “Juris will definitely bring the energy to the team - on the ice and also in the locker room. He is the engine of a team, a skilled player that is very dangerous in the offensive zone”.
Another player who knows Juris well is current Edinburgh Capitals defenceman Rihards Grigors and he added “Juris is a good player who is very creative as a forward and creates a lot of offense. The Capitals fans will see some really good play from him and I was very happy to hear he was joining our club this season”.
On signing Upitis said “I’m excited to join the Edinburgh Capitals. I’m looking forward to getting over and showing the fans some quality hockey and winning games. With the team we have put together I hope we have a great season. I will work hard and do what I can to help the club be successful”.
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