Capitals Sign Goaltender Mitchell Gibson To One-Year Deal

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The Washington Capitals announced Friday morning that they have signed goaltender Mitchell Gibson to a one-year, entry-level deal for $867,500. Gibson is expected to sign an amateur tryout agreement (ATO with the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League (AHL) for this season.

The Capitals announced Sunday Morning that they had signed Gibson to an amateur tryout agreement (ATO) so that Gibson could serve as the backup versus the New York Rangers.


ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have signed goaltender Mitchell Gibson to a one-year NHL entry-level contract beginning next season, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today. Gibson’s contract will carry an average annual value of $867,500. Gibson is expected to sign an amateur tryout agreement with the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League (AHL) for this season.

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.


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

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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.
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9 Responses to Capitals Sign Goaltender Mitchell Gibson To One-Year Deal

  1. KimRB says:

    And before anyone brings it up yet again: No, Gibson WILL NOT be playing one of the 4 remaining games for the Capitals. He is on an Amateur Tryout contract, which means he could only play in an emergency situation, and both Darcy and Charlie would have to get hurt (God forbid) for that to happen. So let’s put that topic to rest, for good!

  2. Anonymous says:

    One year deal is interesting. Hopefully he gets some action in Hershey.

  3. Anonymous says:

    My guess is one or both of Fucale/Shepard aren’t resigned and Gibson will pair with one or Stevenson (I’d be surprised to see them go with two rookies) but Stevenson deserves a shot and Bjorklund needs a full (healthy)season in South Carolina

    • novafyre says:

      Rays’ other healthy goalie is Tyler Wall. He is under contract to the Bears so he and Clay could both move up leaving Garin and Gibson in North Charleston.

      • KimRB says:

        Is that a good idea, having 2 goalies with little AHL experience at once? By my count, Wall has 15 games, Clay has 3. Sounds risky, though Clay looked very sharp in his 3.

        • novafyre says:

          Was replying to Anon who suggested Clay and Gibson in Hershey. Tyler keeps getting overlooked because he is on Bears contract not Caps contract but he is as much of an option as Clay. Clay and Tyler are both at the top of the ECHL leaderboard. If we don’t re-sign Hunter or Zach, I’d rather see Clay and Tyler in Hershey than Gibson or Garin.

  4. hockeydruid says:

    As both Fucale and Shepard ae UFA after the season I would imagine that both sign elsewhere. Fucale is 27 and last played in the NHL in 21/22 where he had a 1-1 record and a 1.75 GA and as he will be 28 in May and unless one of the goalies on the roster is traded I dont see him wanting to return to Hershey. Shepard will be 28 in November and although he was 19-7-5 with a 2.05 GA and a 92% save %, I dont see the Caps making room for him in Wash as he is only 6″. Shame as he will also probably go elsewhere and have a good few years as a solid backup. Gibson is 5 years younger and with the two goalies in SC will probably make up 3 of the 4 goalies next year in SC and Hershey.

    • novafyre says:

      Garin and Clay are SC goalies under Caps contract but there is also Tyler who is under a Bears contract. Garin is an unknown since he has not played at all this year and, if he had back surgery, will have to prove his recovery. But Clay and Tyler have evenly split SC games with very similar stats.

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