Capitals College Credits: Ryan Chesley Wins Bronze, Mitchell Gibson Named to Richter Award Watch, and Other January Happenings

Photo: Harvard University Hockey

The Washington Capitals currently have six prospects playing at the collegiate level for the 2022-23 season. They include Ryan ChesleyDavid GucciardiBrent JohnsonJoaquim LemayMitchell Gibson, and Chase Clark. Gibson and Clark are goaltenders while the other four are defensemen. Here is the January mid-month update on the Capitals’ college prospects.

Ryan Chesley — Defenseman

Chesley was drafted by the Capitals in the second round of the 2022 NHL Entry draft with the 37th pick overall. He is currently a freshman at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Chesley and his three Golden Gopher teammates, Logan Cooley (drafted #3 in 2022 – Arizona Coyotes), Luke Mittelstadt (undrafted), and Jimmy Snuggerud (drafted #23 in 2022 – St. Louis Blues) were part of the bronze medal winning team for the USA at the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championships.  Here is a writeup of the Gophers at the World Juniors.

On the weekend of January 7-8, the Golden Gophers played a home and home series against St. Cloud State. This was a highly anticipated matchup of two nationally ranked teams, with St Cloud State going into the matchup ranked #4 and the Golden Gophers ranked #3. The game on January 7 was played at the Herb Brooks National Center while the game on January 8 was played at the Gophers’ home arena, 3M Arena at Mariucci.

The Golden Gophers fell 3-0 to St Cloud State (ranked #4) on January 7, but came back and won the rematch 2-1 in Overtime at home on January 8. Chesley was kept off the scoresheet in both games. In both games, he played on the second defense pairing.

On January 13 and 14, Minnesota traveled to Notre Dame to face the Fighting Irish. They tied the Irish 2-2 on January 13 and won 3-0 on January 14. Chesley was kept off the scoresheet on January 13. However, January 14 was a much more eventful game for Chesley, both good and bad.

He took a major penalty at 2:27 in the first, thanks to an illegal contact to the head. Fortunately for the Golden Gophers, Notre Dame did not score during Chesley’s major penalty.

But Chesley also got the secondary assist on the team’s first goal, scored by Ryan Johnson, at 17:45. Johnson had blasted a shot from the point.

Chesley has played in all 24 of the team’s games, scored one goal and has three assists. He has made 33 shots on goal and blocked 29 shots. He is currently +9 and played on the third defensive pairing during January so far.

Scott Wheeler of The Athletic ranked him #4 among Capitals prospects, but pointed out that he’s hit some roadblocks this season.

“Though he has defended well for the Golden Gophers in a depth role on a deep team with Frozen Four aspirations, his contributions with the puck have been limited and he really struggled at the world juniors, ultimately moving off longtime partner Lane Hutson’s pair to the No. 7 D role after two games.” Wheeler also pointed out that his game “lacks creativity”.

The Gophers are now 17-6-1 overall and 11-2-1 within the Big Ten Conference. They were rated #2 in the USCHO poll on January 16.

The remainder of the month calls for Minnesota to play the Michigan Wolverines on January 20 and 21 and the Michigan State Spartans on January 27 and 28, with all four games being played at home. Click here for the Golden Gophers schedule.

David Gucciardi – Defenseman

Gucciardi was drafted by the Capitals in the seventh round of the 2022 NHL Entry Draft with the 213th pick overall. He is a sophomore playing for the Michigan State Spartans.

Going into January, the Michigan State Spartans were 12-9-1 overall and 6-5-1 within their conference. They played the Ohio State Buckeyes at Ohio State on January 6 and 7 and lost both games, losing 3-1 on January 6 and 6-0 on January 7.

Gucciardi was kept off scoresheet in both of those games but took a minor penalty on January 7. He was on the team’s second defense pairing on January 6 but moved down to the third defense pairing on January 7. In their loss on January 7, the team took eight penalties, including Gucciardi’s hooking penalty.

Michigan State played Penn State on January 13 and January 14 at home at Munn Ice Arena. They won the game on January 13 by a 3-2 score in overtime. The win snapped a five-game losing streak.

On January 13, Gucciardi took a major penalty at 2:09 for Cross Checking and was ejected from the game with a game misconduct. Overall, the team was whistled for 10 penalties (39 minutes), including two 10-minute misconducts and was the most penalty minutes for the Spartans in a game this season.

On January 14, the Spartans tied 4-4 but won the shootout to gain the extra standings point. Gucciardi was kept off the scoresheet on January 14.

For the season, Gucciardi has played in 24 of the team’s 26 games. He has two goals and recorded three assists. He has 40 shots on goal and has blocked 26 shots.

The Spartans are idle the weekend of January 20 and 21 but resume action when they travel to Minneapolis, Minnesota to play the Golden Gophers on January 27 and 28.

They are now 12-9-1 overall and 6-5-1 in the Big Ten Conference. Click here for the Michigan State Spartans’ schedule.

Brent Johnson – Defenseman

Brent Johnson was drafted by the Capitals in the third round of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft. He is a sophomore at North Dakota.

Going into January, the North Dakota Fighting Hawks were 9-8-4 overall and 3-5-2 in their conference.

The Fighting Hawks played Lindenwood on January 6 and 7, winning twice. They won 4-3 on January 6 and won 4-2 on January 7.

They next faced Western Michigan on the road on January 13 and 14 and lost both games, losing the first by a 4-0 score and losing the second game 7-6. Johnson did not play in either game.

Their record is now 9-10-4 overall and 3-7-2 within the Big Ten Conference. Click here for the North Dakota State Fighting Hawks Schedule.

For the season, Johnson has played in 13 games, has scored one goal and five assists, made 13 shots on goal, blocked 8, and is +3. He has not played since December 3 and only one game since November 19. In spite of not playing since December 3, Scott Wheeler still ranked him #10 among Capitals prospects.

Joaquim Lemay – Defenseman

Lemay was drafted by the Capitals in the fourth round of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft with the 119th pick overall. He is a freshman at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. One of his teammates is Jakub Pivonka, the son of former Capital, Michal Pivonka.

Photo: University of Nebraska Omaha Web Site

Going into January, the Mavericks were 9-9-2.  They were idle the weekend of January 6-8.

They played two games against Minnesota-Duluth on January 13 and 14, beating them 3-2 on January 13 and beating them again on January 14, this time 6-1. Lemay returned to the Maverick’s lineup after missing the previous four games due to injury.

In the game of January 13, Lemay had the primary assist on the team’s first goal on a power play at 11:37. The goal put Omaha ahead 1-0. This was his seventh assist of the season. In that game, Pivonka scored the game winning goal in overtime. The game report from the Mavericks website can be found here.

Lemay was kept off the scoresheet on January 14, despite the lopsided score in favor of his team.  Pivonka scored the team’s second goal of the game.

Lemay has played in 18 of the team’s 22 games, has scored one goal and recorded eight assists. He had 20 shots on goal and has blocked 11 shots. Scott Wheeler ranked him as #13 among Capitals prospects.

The University of Omaha Mavericks are 11-9-2 overall and 6-5-1 within their conference (National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC). The Mavericks schedule can be found here.

Mitchell Gibson – Goaltender

Mitchell Gibson was drafted by the Capitals in the fourth round of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft with the 124th pick overall. He is a senior at Harvard University.

Photo: Harvard University Hockey

Going into December, the Harvard Crimson was 8-3-1 with Gibson having a record of 5-2-1. They had a busy schedule for the first part of the year. They played Northeastern on January 1 and won 8-4. Gibson was the winning goaltender, as he made 37 saves out of 41 shots.

They beat Princeton University on January 6 by a 4-3 score in Overtime. Gibson was the winning goaltender and made 23 saves out of 26 shots. They lost to Quinnipiac University on January 7 by a 4-1 score. Gibson was in goal, making 25 saves out of 29 shots.

On January 14, the Hockey Commissioners’ Association announced that Capitals goaltending prospect Mitchell Gibson has been named on the initial watch list for the 2023 Mike Richter Award, given annually to the top goalie in men’s NCAA Division I hockey since 2014.

Mitchell Gibson Named On Initial Watch List For 2023 Mike Richter Award For Nation’s Top Goaltender

On January 13, Harvard beat Clarkson University 4-1, but Gibson did not play. On January 14, they hosted St. Lawrence and won 5-0 and, once again, Gibson did not play. Instead Derek Mullahy was goalie for both weekend games. Sources told NoVa Caps Gibson is dealing with a “minor injury”.

Gibson has played in seven games, all starts, and has a record of 7-3-1. His goals against average is 2.22. His save percentage is .921 and he has recorded one shutout. Scott Wheeler of The Athletic ranked him as the Capitals seventh-best prospect.

Harvard is now 12-4-1 overall and 10-2-0 in their conference, the ECAC. The Crimson schedule can be found here.

Chase Clark – Goaltender

Chase Clark was drafted by the Capitals in the sixth round (#183 overall) of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft. He is a freshman at Quinnipiac University.

The Quinnipiac Bobcats were 14-1-3 going into January.  They beat Dartmouth 3-0 on January 7 and beat Harvard 4-1 on January 8. Clark did not get into either game.

The Bobcats played Long Island University (LIU) on January 14 and won 5-2 in a game where Clark did not get into either game.

Clark has appeared in four games so far this season for 37:30 total time on ice. He’s stopped 14 of 16 shots faced for a .875 save percentage.

Quinnipiac is now 18-1-3 overall and 12-0-0 within their conference, the ECAC. Their schedule can be found here.

By Diane Doyle

Past College Prospect Reports
Midday Breakaway: Capitals Prospects Climbing The College Rankings
Capitals’ Collegiate Prospects Start Their 2022-23 Season
Capitals College Credits: Mitchell Gibson Remains Undefeated, Brent Johnson Scores First Of The Season
Capitals College Credits: Mitchell Gibson Continues Strong Play, Ryan Chesley Records First Goal

About Diane Doyle

Been a Caps fan since November 1975 when attending a game with my then boyfriend and now husband.
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1 Response to Capitals College Credits: Ryan Chesley Wins Bronze, Mitchell Gibson Named to Richter Award Watch, and Other January Happenings

  1. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for these regular updates on the college prospects, and your
    Monthly reports. Best prospect coverage, period.

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