Bloggers note: Apologies for the lack of updates the past day or so. Just got a new job and corporate's coming to see us in a day so we've been preparing like crazy to get the store ready. - Alex
Weight: 181 lbs
Birthdate: May 9th, 1989 (22 years old)
Birthplace: Porcupine, ON, Canada
Acquired: Draft, Round 3, 62nd overall, 2007 NHL Entry Draft
2010-2011 Team: Bridgeport Sound Tigers/New York Islanders (call up)
2010-2011 Stats (BPT): 63 GP - 4 G - 26 A - 37 PIM
2010-2011 Stats (NYI): 11 GP - 0 G - 1 A - 4 PIM
2010-2012 Team: Bridgeport Sound Tigers
Team Role: Bottom pairing defenseman
Last year: Katic played the Jack Hillen-esque role of a small, quick, puck rushing d-man who can create opportunities up the ice for forwards. Playing with such a depleted forward corps with Bridgeport it was difficult to find respectable numbers, but with a revitalized team he should find his numbers increased very soon. Katic's stats were very respectable and he's got quickness that should keep him around for quite a bit longer. His help on the powerplay for the Sound Tigers was great, and his vision really helped create some golden opportunities for the team.
Expectations: Katic probably won't see much if any time in the NHL this season, but he's most likely going to be slotted down to the bottom pairing defensive line with the additions of Aaron Ness, Matt Donovan and most likely Calvin De Haan as well. Not that there's anything wrong with this, as Katic is a very capable defenseman who has outstanding vision and will help to create a very equalized defensive rotation for Bridgeport. He will also serve as a PP specialist along with Calvin De Haan and Aaron Ness, so that should create an equalization and a tougher time for opposing teams to defend as well.
Projections: GP 79 - 7 G - 29 A - 36 P
AT: Katic was an outstanding pick for the time, and although it doesn't seem as if he'll ever crack the NHL lineup full time, he's a great depth player to have for the time being. With the loss of Jack Hillen, having a player like Katic in the system at our disposal is pretty much necessary. With his speed and vision, Katic provides a great fill in, and could even become our permanent 7th d-man for use in specific situations, just like Hillen was. He's on the much smaller side but doesn't have the defensive capabilities Aaron Ness does, so I'm not sure if he'd ever be used regularly on defense. However, role players are role players are... role players, so he has his usage.
CH: Entering the last year of his ELC, Katic will begin the year as at least the tenth defenseman on the Isles depth chart. He is going to play a role for Bridgeport this year, but his playing time will be determined based on how he performs compares to other undersized defensemen like Aaron Ness. As far as the Islanders are concerned, Katic will most likely be one of the first few call-ups if injuries hit after a somewhat solid debut last season, but the Islanders need to avoid using Katic as a long-term option. He is simply not ready for that type of role yet. All in all, Katic just needs to have a solid year for the Sound Tigers, as he is one of the older members of the D-core. If he does, he will help stabilize the defense, which is something the Sound Tigers need.