Kattelus returns for seventh season in Kalamazoo

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — After pacing the team’s blue line in 2016-17, the Kalamazoo Wings, ECHL affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks, have re-signed defenseman Eric Kattelus for the 2017-18 season.


Kattelus, 30, will suit up for his eighth season of professional hockey and seventh with the Wings in 2017-18. After making the full-time transition to defense early last year, Kattelus saw a resurgence in his game, logging 40 points (7g-33a) over the course of 60 contests. His point total tied a career high, and his 60 games played were his most since the 2011-12 season. His play on the back end for the Wings earned him the team’s Defenseman of the Year award at the end of the season.


A veteran with 344 professional games under his belt, Kattelus carried over his brilliant play into the postseason last year, logging eight points in seven playoff outings. Over the course of seven seasons with Kalamazoo, the Traverse City, Mich. native has appeared in 274 games and has picked up 201 points (55g-146a).


Since turning pro in 2011 with the Cincinnati Cyclones, Kattelus has earned 221 career points (59g-162a), including 13 points in 45 games played at the American Hockey League level with the Chicago Wolves.


Prior to turning pro, Kattelus spent one season with the Bismark Bobcats of the North American Hockey League, and poured in 75 points (35g-40a) in 50 games. His standout play culminated in being named as the league’s Rookie of the Year and an All-NAHL First Team member. He transitioned to the United States Hockey League the following year and capped off his junior career with a 39-point season with the Indiana Ice.


At the conclusion of his junior career, he headed to Michigan Tech, where he skated in 87 games over the course of three-and-a-half seasons with the Huskies, producing 32 points.