Garin Bjorklund Re-assigned To Hershey Bears, Mitchell Gibson Released From ATO

The Washington Capitals announced Monday afternoon that they have re-assigned goaltender Garin Bjorklund from ECHL South Carolina to AHL Hershey. In addition, the Hershey Bears announced that goaltender Mitchell Gibson has been released from his Amateur Tryout Agreement (ATO) as he returns to Harvard University to finish schooling.


The Washington Capitals, the NHL affiliate of the Hershey Bears, announced today that goaltender Garin Bjorklund has been re-assigned from South Carolina (ECHL) to Hershey.
Additionally, the Bears released goaltender Mitchell Gibson from his amateur tryout agreement as he returns to Harvard University to finish schooling.

After missing the majority of the season due to injury, Bjorklund, 20, made his professional debut for South Carolina last Saturday, earning a 5-4 shootout victory over Jacksonville. He stopped 24 shots, and also denied three-of-four attempts in the shootout to earn his first pro victory.

The Capitals selected Bjorklund in the sixth round of the 2020 NHL Draft. Prior to turning pro, he finished his junior career with the Medicine Hat Tigers of the Western Hockey League (WHL) in 2021-22, posting a 8-36-2 record with a 4.26 goals-against average, and a .877 save percentage. In 96 career games in the WHL with Medicine Hat, Bjorklund is 40-48-4 with three shutouts, a 3.50 goals-against average, and a .892 save percentage.

Bjorklund will wear #1 for Hershey.

On Saturday Bjorklund recorded his first professional win in his pro hockey debut for ECHL South Carolina. With the win, the Stingrays (45-22-4-1) clinched the South Division for the seventh time in franchise history. Bjorklund stopped 24 of 28, including this highlight reel series of saves.

Bjorklund also shut the door for the Stingrays in the shootout, sealing the victory and the division title for South Carolina.

The Bears are idle this week, having earned a first round bye in the AHL playoffs. The Stingrays open the 2023 Kelly Cup Playoffs next Saturday, April 22nd, at the North Charleston Coliseum for Game 1 of the Divisional Semifinal round against the Florida Everblades. Puck drop is set for 6:05 p.m.

By Jon Sorensen

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.

15 Responses to Garin Bjorklund Re-assigned To Hershey Bears, Mitchell Gibson Released From ATO

  1. novafyre says:

    Do the Bears feel they need the backup more, is he replacing Shep or Zach, or do they want him to work with the Bears coaches?

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      The Bears are off for quite some time (10 days?) So maybe he’s up to workout with the team, then return for Rays postseason? I’m just speculating. Nelson said the Bears would have a couple of days off (after Saturday night’s game), then reconvene for four days of hard practice, then have a couple days off.( I think he’s simulating a first round series.) Anyway,Mir will be interested to see what days Bjorklund is in Hershey. Maybe he’s just working out with Kolzig?

      • novafyre says:

        Maybe he’s getting some personalized training since the Bears are off. Was just curious. As long as it is productive, that’s great. I just hate those press box visits we have come to know from Caps callups.

  2. novafyre says:

    “After missing the majority of the season due to injury,”

    Yes, I guess you could say that missing 71 of 72 games would be a majority of the season.

  3. Anonymous says:

    It’s good he gets some time in Chocolate Town. Stevenson had a good stint and did very well. That’s positive development in my book.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I would say he’s got the highest upside of all the goalies in our system, but his floor is fairly low too. It’ll be interesting to see if the Caps are still good at developing goalies as they have been.

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      Higher than Stevenson and Clark? Interesting. Clark is still an unknown in my book, I know Kolzig said very similar things last summer, he’s a wild card. Love Clark’s size.

      • grahf2015 says:

        Yeah I’m not buying that either. Stevenson I think right now ranks as my #1, Gibson #2 and based on pure size Id put Clark #3 over Garin. This coming season for Clark will be important and should give us a better grasp of what kind of prospect we really have to shape into a pro.

        • novafyre says:

          Don’t forget Tyler Wall. He’s under a Bears contract now but has matched Clay in every aspect in SC (even same size). After watching him all year, I don’t believe he’s going to stay under an AHL contract. I think some NHL team will sign him. Will it be the Caps?

          • Jon Sorensen says:

            That was my next question regarding Wall. Do you know teem of his current deal?

            • novafyre says:

              The Hershey Bears announced today that the club has signed goaltender Tyler Wall to an American Hockey League contract for the remainder of the 2022-23 season.

          • dwgie26 says:

            If he finds an NHL 2-way contract he should take it. Caps won’t give him one given their depth. They may be willing to sign him to another 1 year AHL deal though.

            Not discounting Wall by any means. But there are a lot of prospects in front of him and I think he’ll need a year in the AHL before he gets a 2-way.

        • Jon Sorensen says:

          Agree on Clark and this coming season will be huge.

      • Anonymous says:

        He stole games on that those terrible medicine hat teams. He’s definitely got skill and confidence, His floor is like an okay AHL guy, but his ceiling is probably higher than Stevenson and Gibson. Clark is definitely an Unknown, but its also unknown if he’ll even sign with the Caps. I’m also not as high on Sheperd like most people are, to me he’s a borderline NHL backup, on some days I think his ceiling is like an elite AHL guy. I think Bjorklund could be a 1B in his prime, something that I don’t see yet in Stevenson and Gibson. Clark hasn’t played a full game in so long its hard to project him.

Leave a Reply