Ontario Hockey League grad Scott Hotham moves to Italy for 2014-15 after a three year stop in neighbouring Austria. Hotham will play for Asiago, a club that has been coached by another OHL alumnus, John Parco, since 2011-12. Asiago has won the Lega Italiana Hockey su Ghiaccio Serie A1 (LIHG) championship three times in the past five years. After a semi-final loss in 2013-14, the team is looking to regain the title.
Hotham played four years in the OHL from 2001-02 to 2004-05 with the North Bay Centennials/Saginaw Spirit, Mississauga IceDogs and Barrie Colts. Scott was a third round pick by the Centennials at the 2000 OHL Priority Selection. After playing his first full year in North Bay, Hotham moved with the franchise to Saginaw but appeared in just one game before moving on to the IceDogs. In 2003-04, he was shipped to the Colts ten games into the season.
Undrafted to the National Hockey League, Scott played his first pro hockey at the end of the 2004-05 OHL season, after the Colts were eliminated from the Robertson Cup playoffs. He played two regular season and ten playoff games for the Rockford IceHogs in the UHL.
Before turning pro full-time, Hotham spent four years in the AUA with St. Mary’s University. Since 2009-10, Scott has played in the ECHL, AHL, Norway’s Get Ligaen and Austria’s EBEL. In 2010-11 with Lillehammer in Norway, he led all defensemen with 34 assists. For the past three years, Scott has played in the EBEL with the past two with Villacher SV. Hotham is signed for one year with Asiago.
The head coach of Asiago since 2011-12, Parco played for the team in 1991-92, 1992-93, 2001-02 and 2004-05 to 2010-11. John played for Italy in seven IIHF World Championships and played for the country at the 2006 Winter Olympic Games.
Parco played three years in the Ontario Hockey League from 1988-89 to 1990-91 with the Belleville Bulls. The Bulls selected John in the third round of the 1988 OHL Priority Selection, 39th overall. He was team captain for Belleville in 1990-91. Over his OHL career, Parco scored 109 and assisted on 148 for 257 points over 195 games.
The Philadelphia Flyers took John in the 12th round of the 1991 NHL Entry Draft, 248th overall. He played pro hockey from 1991-92 to 2010-11 in the LIHG, ECHL, IHL, AHL, Germany’s DEL and the U.K.’s BISL.
The origins of the franchise date back to 1935. The team plays home games at the Stadio Odegar in Asiago, Italy, a 3,000 seat venue that was opened in 1977. Recently, Asiago was LIHG champs in 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2012-13. In 2013-14, the team placed second in the eight team league and lost in the semi-finals. For 2014-15, the league expands to 12 teams with the combining of the Serie A1 and Serie A2.
Badly destroyed in 1918 in a World War II battle between Italy and Austria, the actual town of Asiago has just 6,500 residents and is located northwest of Venice. Yes, this is the birthplace of Asiago cheese.