12:20 pm - The Islanders have signed defense prospect Mark Katic to a three-year, entry level contract, Point Blank has learned through a variety of social media sources.
Katic will likely join the Bridgeport Sound Tigers for the remainder of this season on an amateur tryout agreement.
A third round pick in 2007, Katic was 13-41-54 in 63 games this season with Sarnia of the Ontario Hockey League. The 6-0, 190-pound two-way defenseman particularly impressed Islanders management with an outstanding second half of the season. According to Sting staffers, Islanders scouts Eric Cairns and Tim MacLean were regular visitors to Sarnia to monitor Katic’s development.
We wrote about Katic and his Sarnia teammates/fellow NYI draft picks Matt Martin and Justin DiBenedetto here and here. Two weeks ago, we ranked Katic No. 6 on our list of the Islanders’ top 10 prospects in junior, college or Europe.
Call it the power of Facebook. A few hours after we learned the Islanders were deep in negotiations with the agent for Katic, PB reader Sab commented on the blog that he heard through a reliable Facebook friend that a Katic deal was done. (It should be noted Sab lives in Ontario and – unrelated to this scoop or not – is related to a hockey legend). We confirmed a few moments ago that a deal was done with Katic.
ETC: The team has also finalized an intriguing signing for Bridgeport. Signed to an ATO and practicing with the Sound Tigers today is Ryan Duncan, who just completed his fourth season at the University of North Dakota with 20-19-39 in 43 games.
The asterisk with Duncan is that he is listed as 5-6, 150 pounds. But the 24-year old can play hockey. Good idea to see what he can do in the AHL down the stretch while the Islanders make a decision on him. Size has not hurt his durability so far; he never missed a game in four years of college.
With Kurtis McLean done for the year and Jeremy Colliton on the shelf, Jack Capuano needed a center.