The Washington Capitals announced some surprising news on Sunday morning before their matinee matchup with the New York Rangers. Prospect goaltender Mitchell Gibson has signed an amateur tryout agreement with the Caps and will serve as Darcy Kuemper’s backup against their Metropolitan Division foes.
The move was precipitated by regular backup Charlie Lindgren coming down with an illness and being unable to dress. Lindgren missed the team’s practice on Saturday.
NEWS | The Capitals have signed goaltender Mitchell Gibson to an amateur tryout agreement and he will serve as a backup today versus the New York Rangers, with Charlie Lindgren out with illness. https://t.co/zpfUtoxaDd
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) April 2, 2023
Gibson is less than a week removed from reportedly signing a one-year, entry-level contract with the team, according to a report from the Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli. However, the Capitals’ press release regarding this move states that Gibson has not yet officially signed that deal.
The 23-year-old netminder was a fourth-round draft pick of the Capitals in 2018 and has spent the last several years in the NCAA with Harvard University.
Before this emergency recall of sorts, Gibson was expected to report to the AHL’s Hershey Bears on a similar amateur tryout agreement to serve as a reserve goaltender and practice with the Bears as they prepare for a Calder Cup run. Hershey is playing in Cleveland on Sunday in their own afternoon game against the Monsters which means an emergency recall of one of their regular goalies was likely unable to occur.
This season with Harvard, Gibson posted a record of 18-7-2 and ranked third among all Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) goaltenders in both save percentage (.919) and goals-against average (2.25). He served as Harvard’s starting goaltender for all three years of his college hockey career.
Here’s the full press release from the team:
Capitals Sign Mitchell Gibson to Amateur Tryout Agreement
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have signed goaltender Mitchell Gibson to an amateur tryout agreement (ATO), senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today. Gibson will serve as a backup today versus the New York Rangers, with Charlie Lindgren out with illness. Gibson is expected to sign an NHL contract at a later date.
The Capitals selected Gibson, 23, with their fourth-round pick, 124th overall, in the 2018 NHL Draft.
Gibson appeared in 27 games for Harvard University (NCAA) this season, posting a record of 18-7-2 with a 2.25 goals-against average, a .919 save percentage and three shutouts. The 6’1″, 187-pound goaltender ranked third among ECAC goaltenders in goals-against average and save percentage. Gibson, who helped guide Harvard to its second-straight NCAA Tournament appearance, was named to the All-ECAC Hockey Second Team.
During the 2021-22 season, Gibson recorded a 18-10-1 record with a 2.17 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage. Gibson started 30 of Harvard’s 35 games in 2021-22, helping the Crimson capture the 2022 ECAC Hockey Championship and a NCAA Tournament bid. Gibson ranked second in the conference in wins (18), fourth in minutes played (1,739) and fifth in goals-against average, earning Second Team All-ECAC Hockey honors.
The Phoenixville, Pennsylvania native appeared in 23 games in his first year at Harvard in 2019-20, compiling a record of 11-8-3. Gibson ranked first among ECAC freshmen in goals against average (2.61) and save percentage (.916) and was named to the ECAC Hockey All-Rookie Team and an All-Ivy League Honorable Mention. Gibson earned a shutout in his first collegiate start on Nov. 8, 2019 versus Princeton.
In 80 career games at Harvard, Gibson posted a record of 47-25-6 with six shutouts, a 2.32 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage.
Gibson spent the 2018-19 season with the Central Illinois Flying Aces of the United States Hockey League (USHL) and 2017-18 with the Lone Star Brahmas of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), where was named the NAHL Goaltender of the Year after posting a 26-7-5 record, a 1.59 goals-against average, a .935 save percentage and 11 shutouts in 43 games.
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