Capitals Sign Mitchell Gibson to Amateur Tryout Agreement, Will Serve As Backup Today Against New York Rangers

The Washington Capitals announced Sunday Morning that they have signed goaltending prospect Mitchell Gibson to an amateur tryout agreement (ATO). Gibson will serve as the backup today versus the New York Rangers. He will wear #78. Gibson is expected to sign an NHL contract at a later date.

Talks between Gibson and the Capitals on an entry level deal have been in the works, but Charlie Lindgren’s illness sent the Caps and Gibson down this temporary path first.

Caps’ assistant general manager Don Fishman is a Harvard graduate and former Harvard broadcaster as well, and he has been Washington’s salary cap guru for the better part of the last two decades. Simply put, the Caps did not have the cap space to recall a backup goaltender for today’s game, and this is a situation that Fishman had been monitoring, and he alerted Gibson of the same after Harvard was eliminated from postseason tournament play last week.


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.

On March 16, ECAC Hockey announced its year-end awards, with Mitchell Gibson, Matthew Coronato, and Alex Laferriere Second Team All-ECAC Hockey honorees,

In addition, Gibson was one of nine semifinalists for the Mike Richter Award as the nation’s top goaltender (and one of two on that list from ECAC Hockey).


In the 2017-2018 season, Gibson was recognized as the NAHL’s Goaltender and Rookie of the Year and took home the title as the South Division MVP. He tied an NAHL record posting 11 shutouts in one regular season and finished with an overall record (including playoffs) of 31-10-9 for the NAHL’s Lone Star Brahmas. Gibson finished the regular season leading in the NAHL in goals against average (1.59) and save percentage (93.5%), which were both the lowest numbers in the league since the 2014-15 season.

Gibson would play for the Central Illinois Flying Aces in the USHL in the 2018-2019 season. He was unable replicate his success from the his previous season, ending the year with a 3.50 GAA and a .890 save percentage. The team as a whole was not very strong, and in a bit of disarray, as they would fold at the end of the season.

Gibson finished the 2019-2020 regular season, his rookie campaign in the NCAA, with a record of 9-8-3, a 2.66 Goals-Against Average and a .917 Save Percentage. He ended the regular season ranked 42nd in the NCAA in GAA and ranked 26th in the NCAA in Save Percentage. The season was ultimately cut short at tournament time due to the Covid pandemic.

The 2020-21 season was a complete wash for Gibson, as Harvard and many of the other eastern teams scrapped the season in its entirety due to the Covid pandemic.

The 2021-22 season saw Gibson return to action after 18-months of sitting idle due to the Covid pandemic. To Gibson’s credit, it took very little time for him to find his grove. He would go 18-10-1 in 29 games played this season.

Gibson finished the season with a .918 save percentage, which was 24th best in the NCAA, and a 2.17 goals against average, which was 14th-best in the NCAA. Pretty good numbers for his second full season.

By Jon Sorensen

Mitchell Gibson: Interview With Method Hockey
Phoenixville’s Gibson drafted by the Capitals, but will always be a Flyers fan
Gibson selected by NHL Capitals

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
This entry was posted in News and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Capitals Sign Mitchell Gibson to Amateur Tryout Agreement, Will Serve As Backup Today Against New York Rangers

  1. GRin430 says:

    PLAY HIM!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • KimRB says:

      From what I was understand, you can’t play someone on an ATO, unless it’s an actual emergency basis. The main point of this is to have someone on the bench, who is not an EBUG.

      “For goaltenders and skaters, the ATO may only be used according to section 13-13(m)(ii) of the NHL-NHLPA CBA, when Emergency conditions shall be established when the playing strength of the Loaning Club, by reason of incapacitating injury or illness or by League suspension to its Players is reduced below the level of two (2) goalkeepers, six (6) defensemen and twelve (12) forwards. Proof of the existence of the emergency conditions including the incapacity shall be furnished to the Commissioner of the League upon request made by him.”

      Of course, signing him to an NHL contract is another story.

  2. KimRB says:

    Welcome to the big leagues, kid

  3. Anonymous says:

    Well, that’s a new one. Hopefully he gets some minutes today.

  4. Jon Sorensen says:

    Greetings folks! Just a quick note, if you haven’t done so already, please consider subscribing to NoVa Caps posts in the “subscribe” box located in the upper right corner. Thank you!

Leave a Reply