Capitals Sign Goaltender Reid Cooper To ATO To Serve As Backup To Darcy Kuemper Tonight Against New Jersey

Photo: Curry College

The Washington Capitals announced Thursday morning that they have signed goaltender Reid Cooper of Curry College to an ATO to serve as Darcy Kuemper’s backup tonight, with Charlie Lindgren out with an injury.

Cooper grew up in the same town as Kuemper. He was sitting on the couch with his college roommates watching the Bourne Supremacy movie when he got the call from the Capitals on Tuesday night.

The signing also means that Hunter Shepard will not make his NHL debut this season. He becomes an unrestricted free agent at the end of the Bears season.


ARLINGTON, Va.The Washington Capitals have signed goaltender Reid Cooper to an amateur tryout agreement (ATO), senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today. Cooper will serve as a backup today versus the New Jersey Devils, with Charlie Lindgren out with an injury.

Cooper, 24, posted a 20-6-1 record with three shutouts, a 1.92 goals-against average and a .935 save percentage in 27 games with Curry College (NCAA III) this season. The Corman Park, Saskatchewan native was named the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Goaltender of the Year and Co-Player of the Year. In addition, Cooper was named to the CCC All-Conference First Team and to the American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA) Division III East All-American Second Team. In two years at Curry College, Cooper compiled a record of 33-12-3 with a 1.99 goals-against average, a .930 save percentage and four shutouts. Cooper is expected to graduate with a Master of Business Administration degree in May.

Prior to attending Curry College, the 6’2”, 195-pound goaltender played three seasons at Robert Morris University (NCAA) from 2018 to 2021. In addition, Cooper played two seasons in the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks and Coquitlam Express, where he was teammates with Capitals prospect Clay Stevenson.


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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12 Responses to Capitals Sign Goaltender Reid Cooper To ATO To Serve As Backup To Darcy Kuemper Tonight Against New Jersey

  1. Anonymous says:

    Well, that’s the end of Hunter Shepard. Thought he and Stevenson would lock down Hershey jobs next season.

    • novafyre says:

      Caps probably don’t have the Salary Cap space to bring Hunter up. Unless on LTIR, injured or resting players still count. When a player is brought up as a sub, he counts. That’s why clubs are getting into trouble right now and using ATO goalies.

      • Anonymous says:

        It’s an emergency callup

        • KimRB says:

          You can’t call Hunter up, because he has an NHL contract. If you call him up, he gets paid according to his contract. The amateur tryout is literally that. He’s not getting paid. I guess the best he’d get is a free meal, and keep his jersey. But any pay anyone gets counts against the salary cap.

  2. Anonymous says:

    A bunch of NHL teams have had weird “Emergency Goalie” events this week

    Hunter Shepard is a legit prospect for the NHL. Would be GOOD if the Caps re-sign him in off-season

  3. 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!

  4. Dave says:

    At least KimRB will be happy that Ross Mahoney is finally looking outside the WHL! 🤣

  5. KimRB says:

    Yeah, but he’s not Finnish, so that doesn’t count!


  6. KimRB says:

    This is getting stupid. The NHL and NHLPA need to hammer out a solution, to keep teams from having to play shorthanded.

    How about a once a season emergency cap circumvention for each team? It must be league approved, and verified by doctors. Not the greatest solution, but better than teams risking their players, by playing shorthanded.

  7. Scottlew73 says:

    Why doesn’t GMBM go Lester Patrick (“OLD TIME HOCKEY “),& strap pads on himself…,he created problem,solve them himself!!

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