Matt Underhill was born September 16, 1979 in Campbell River, British Columbia. The sixth round, 170th overall selection of the Calgary Flames in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft, Underhill is a graduate of the ECAC's Cornell Big Red.
The netminder from Campbell River, BC played four seasons at Cornell registering a 62-14-9 record before making his professional debut with the ECHL's Pee Dee Pride in 2002-03. Although he spent the majority of the 2002-03 season in the ECHL, Underhill did see limited action with the AHL's Providence Bruins that same year.
In 2003-04, Underhill had stops in the ECHL with Florence and the AHL with Providence and Manchester before joining the Chicago Blackhawks organization and the AHL's Norfolk Admirals. In the latter stages of the 2003-04 season, Underhill made his NHL debut with the Blackhawk.