Defenseman Mark Katic will make his NHL debut tonight for the Islanders against the Flyers.
Katic was called up on an emergency basis after recent injuries to veteran defensemen Radek Martinek (lower body) and Milan Jurcina (groin).
The 21-year-old defenseman, who has 3 goals and 18 assists in 52 games for the Sound Tigers this season, received the heads-up last night after Bridgeport's game against Providence and drove down to Philly to make it in time for the team's morning skate at Wells Fargo Center.
"It was definitely something special," Katic said of the news. "I'm looking forward to tonight for sure."
Katic said his mom was thrilled about the news, but he has yet to talk to his dad. Poppa Katic works in the diamond mines-- two weeks in, two weeks out--in a desolate area in Ontario. He took the 90-min flight to start his two-week shift in just yesterday, so he missed the big announcement. Katic hopes to reach him later today.
Katic will round out a depleted Islanders blue line, whose average age now works out to be a little less than 23 years--Bruno Gervais is the old man of the group at 26 years, and 4 months.
"It's great experience for our kids, they are playing extremely well," Capuano said, who described Katic as " a good skater, quick, moves the puck well. He has good offensive instincts, but he's just got to keep his game simple."
After watching several of his fellow Bridgeport d-men get the call, Katic is looking forward to finally getting his opportunity.
"When I watched Hamonic go up and be so successful here, it put my mind at ease a bit," he said. "He's a great player and I've played with him a lot so I know I can make the jump too. Just watching all the young guys come up has been a motivator."