Mitchell Gibson: 2023 Annual Review And Forecast

Next up in our 2023 annual prospect review and forecast series is Mitchell Gibson, goaltender for Harvard University and the Hershey Bears. (You can access all of our Capitals Prospect Reports and player analysis on our “Prospects” page or right here.)


Gibson, a 6’1”, 187 lb left-handed netminder, was selected by the Washington Capitals in the fourth round (#124 overall) of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. The 23 year-old  Phoenixville, Pennsylvania native has spent the last four seasons as the number one netminder at Harvard. Gibson signed a one-year one-year, entry-level deal with the Capitals for $867,500 on April 7 and signed an amateur tryout (ATO) agreement with the Hershey Bears on April 10.


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 for 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. 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.

The 2022-23 season was arguably Gibson’s best collegiate campaign. He finished with a 18-7-2 records, a 2.25 Goals Against Average and a .919 save percentage. 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). On March 16, ECAC Hockey announced Gibson, was named to the Second Team All-ECAC.

Following the conclusion of Harvard’s season, Gibson signed a one-year, entry-level deal with the Capitals for $867,500 on April 7 and signed an amateur tryout (ATO) agreement with the Hershey Bears on April 10. He backed-up one game in Hershey but saw no ice time before returning to Harvard to finish his degree.


The following is a compilation of our month-by-month prospect reports for Mitchell Gibson during the 2022-2023 season. Also included are his monthly scores (0-5, with 2.5 being average). You can find all of our monthly prospect reports on our “Prospects” page in the top menu.


Gibson participated in Capitals development camp in July but did not participate in Capitals camps in September. However, It should be added that the Capitals did not invite college prospects to either of the camps. Mitchell and Harvard held their first official practice of the season on October 7.

Gibson stopped 17 of 19 in a 5-2 victory in the season opener on October 28 against Dartmouth. One of the saves was an eye-popper.

Gibson remained the number one netminder for Harvard, although he is getting relief in the back to back games, something that wasn’t always the case in previous seasons.

Monthly Score: 3.0


Going into November, Gibson had a record of 1-0. Gibson was in goal against Yale University on November 5, a 4-0 victory, where he made 10 saves. He made six of those saves during third period while the team was on penalty kill.

On November 11, Gibson was in goal and made 18 saves out of 20 shots faced as Harvard beat Rensselaer, 3-2 in Overtime.

Harvard ran their winning streak to seven consecutive games as they beat New Hampshire 3-1 while on the road. Gibson made 27 saves, improving his record to 4-0.

It was a rougher weekend against the University of Michigan on the weekend of November 25-26. The first game was a 4-4 tie where he made 31 saves out of 35 shots. The second one was a 4-1 loss. Gibson made 40 saves out of 43 shots.

For the month of November, Gibson ended up 3-1-1. His record for the season is now 4-1-1 with a Goals Against Average of 1.97 (11th in NCAA) and a Save Percentage of .927 (12th in NCAA). Gibson remains the number one netminder for Harvard, although he is getting relief in the back to back games.

“Gibby” has picked up where he left off last season, and has been solid for Harvard in the early going. He’s second in the NCAA in GAA and 20th in overall save percentage in the NCAA so far this season. Gibson is considered a senior, but his sophomore season (2020-21) was a complete wash-out due to the pandemic, therefore it’s believed college eligibility remains for Gibson. The question remains, will he use it or move on to the pros?

Monthly Score: 4.0


Gibson has continued to play well for Harvard in the month of December, although he only played in two games due to the collegiate holiday scheduling. He gave up just one goal on 23 shots against Cornell on December before the holiday break.

Gibson stopped 33 of 35 shots he faced in a 2-1 overtime loss at Boston University on December 30, the first game back after the holiday break.

For the season, Gibson is 5-2-1 with a .932 save percentage (best in the NCAA) and a 1.83 GAA (4th-best in the NCAA).

The big question regarding Gibson at this point is will he sign with Washington, or test the free agency waters. He will graduate this spring, but he does have one more year of eligibility with Harvard due to the Covid pandemic, so he could decide to return to Harvard next season.

The Capitals are fairly deep in goaltenders in the prospect pool, which could deter Gibson. We will just have to wait and see what unfolds this spring. The Capitals would certainly love to add him to the depth chart.

Monthly Score: 4.0


Gibson played six games for the Harvard Crimson during the month of January, winning four of them and losing the other two. Gibson suffered a minor injury in early January that had him out for games on January 14 and 15.

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

Gibson was named on the initial watch list for the 2023 Mike Richter Award as the nation’s top goaltender, the Hockey Commissioners’ Association announced on Jan. 12. Semifinalists for the award will be announced in February, with the field further narrowed to three finalists in March before the winner of the award is announced in April at the 2023 Frozen Four in Tampa.

On January 20 Gibson faced Yale University on the road and won 3-2 in Overtime. Gibson, returning to the lineup after injury, made 23 saves in 25 chances, and was at his best in the final period of regulation, stopping Cole Donhauser on a rebound chance with an extended glove stop at 7:52 of the period. Later on, at the 13:40 mark, he stopped an Ian Carpentier breakaway with a sliding left pad save.

On January 21, he faced Brown University on the road and lost 3-2. Gibson made 19 saves on 22 chances.

On January 28, Gibson beat Cornell 6-2 at home, making 31 saves out of 33 opposing chances. He had some great stops during the third period.

Gibson has played in 14 games, all starts, and has a record of 9-4-1-1. His goals against average is 2.25. His save percentage is .919 and he has recorded one shutout. Scott Wheeler of The Athletic ranked him as the Capitals seventh best prospect. He remains unsigned by the Capitals and could become a free agent this summer.

Monthly Score: 3.5


Gibson played in eight games for the Harvard Crimson during the month of February, posting a 6-1-1 record for the month.

During the month, Harvard played in the annual Beanpot Bowl, which involves all the Boston area college teams. Harvard faced #2 ranked Quinnipiac on February 3 and lost 3-0. Gibson made 22 saves on 24 chances. Quinnipiac scored their third goal as an empty netter after Gibson was pulled in favor of an extra attacker.

On Monday, February 6, Harvard faced Boston College in the semi-finals of the Beanpot Bowl and beat them, 4-3 in overtime. Gibson made 45 saves out of 48 chances to earn the win.

On February 10, Harvard faced Dartmouth College on the road and won 6-3. Gibson made 16 saves in 19 chances.

On Monday, February 13, Harvard faced Northeastern in the Finals of the Beanpot Bowl and fell 3-2 in the shootout. Gibson made several great saves during the game.

On February 17, Harvard faced Union College at home and won 5-3. Gibson was the winning goaltender and made 26 saves on 29 shots.

On February 18, Harvard faced Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and won 4-0. Gibson made 20 saves in the shutout. The game was Senior Night where Harvard honored its seniors, including Gibson. This was Gibson’s second shutout of the season, and his fifth career shutout overall.

On February 24, Harvard faced the St. Lawrence Saints at St Laurence University and won 6-2, with Gibson making 27 saves out of 29 chances. For much of the latter part of the game, Gibson made big saves on some second and third-chance efforts from the Saints.

Gibson closed out Harvard’s regular season with record of 15-5-2, a career-high save percentage of .920 and a goals against average of 2.19.

Harvard’s next hockey action will take place at the ECAC Hockey Quarter finals which begin on Friday, March 10 and will continue through March 12.

Monthly Score: 3.0


By virtue of finishing in second place in the ECAC, Gibson and Harvard University earned a bye-week for the first round of the ECAC Conference playoffs on March 3 and 4 and moved directly to the ECAC Quarterfinals.

The Crimson beat Princeton in the ECAC Quarterfinals on March 10 and March 11 by identical 6-1 scores, which allowed them to advance in the Semifinals against Cornell on March 17.

On March 10, Gibson made 31 saves in 32 chances, with Princeton registering 17 shots during the third period alone. This included two big saves on Mackenzie Merriman midway through the period to keep Harvard in control of the contest.

On March 11, Gibson made 34 saves in 35 chances, as Princeton made the most of their shots during the last two periods. Gibson improved to 8-1-0 in ECAC Hockey playoff contests after this weekend.

Gibson stopped 34 of 35 shots faced in Game 2 (.971 sv%) and stopped 30 of 31 in game 1 (.969 sv%) – 64 of 66 shots faced for a .970 weekend sv%.

On March 16, ECAC Hockey announced its year-end awards, with Mitchell GibsonMatthew 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 ECAC Semi-Finals, Harvard beat Cornell on March 17 by a 1-0 score in Overtime. Gibson made 15 saves. This included a great stop at 1:24 into the second period on a net drive by Jack O’Leary to keep the game scoreless.

Laferriere’s Dramatic OT Game-Winner Sends No. 6/6 Men’s Ice Hockey Past No. 10/11 Cornell, 1-0, in ECACH Semifinal – Harvard University (

However, on March 18, Harvard fell to Cornell by a 3-2 score in the ECAC Hockey Championship. Gibson made 20 saves in 23 chances.

Harvard then faced Ohio State in the NCAA Regional Semifinal on March 24 in Bridgeport, Connecticut, where they lost 8-1. Gibson made 27 saves and gave up seven goals before being pulled in favor of backup goaltender Derek Mulcahy at 3:50 into the third period. This loss completed the season for Harvard and Gibson.

Gibson’s final statistics were: 27 games played, compiling a record of 18-7-2 with a save percentage of .919 which was a career high, and a goals against average of 2.25.

Monthly Score: 3.0


The Capitals announced on April 2 that they had signed Gibson to an amateur tryout agreement (ATO) so that Gibson could serve as the backup versus the New York Rangers. The Capitals then announced on April 7 that they had signed Gibson to a one-year, entry-level deal for $867,500.

After that game Gibson igned an ATO with the Hershey Bears, worked out with the Bears and was backup in one game before returning to Harvard to finish his schooling. 

Monthly Score: 3.0



Gibson will report to Capitals training camp this fall, likely looking at an initial assignment with ECHL South Carolina, or AHL Hershey, depending on whether Hunter Shepard and/or Zach Fucale are re-signed. Much of that will be decided before training camp starts.

Gibson will be directly competing with Clay Stevenson with regards to position on the Capitals goaltending depth chart.

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.
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10 Responses to Mitchell Gibson: 2023 Annual Review And Forecast

  1. Anonymous says:

    Looking forward to seeing Gibby in chocolate town next season.

  2. GRin430 says:

    Gibson reminds me of Vanecek — not very big but a really good technician. He squares to the puck really well. He looks on TV to be a bit better athlete than Vanecek, but that is probably just wishful thinking on my part. And I do wish him well — you can’t have too many quality goaltending prospects in the system, particularly since Shepard could walk this summer, and I think Fucale has topped out as no more than an emergency NHL call-up.

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      Not an outrageous likening. Very similar quality ties to VV.

      Re: Fucale (and Shepard) Both are UFA’s, so it will be interesting to see what the Capitals decide to do. I wouldn’t be shocked by any outcome (both resigned, both let go, Shepard re-signed, Fucale let go, etc.)

  3. Anonymous says:

    Looking forward to that Gibby/Stevenson roster battle. Should be good.

  4. novafyre says:

    “Gibson will be directly competing with Clay Stevenson with regards to position on the Capitals goaltending depth chart.” And Garin?

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      I see Garin a year behind Gibson and Stevenson. He needs a full season starting in SC as his next step. This past season was essentially lost due to injury.

      • novafyre says:

        Trivia — Zach and Garin have the same birthday

        Darcy Kuemper 1990-5-5
        Charlie Lindgren 1993-12-18
        Zach Fucale 1995-05-28
        Hunter Shepard 1995-11-07
        Tyler Wall 1998-01-14
        Clay Stephenson 1999-03-03
        Mitchell Gibson 1999-06-25
        Garin Bjorklund 2002-05-28

  5. dwgie26 says:

    Ideally to me, we sign one of Fucale/Shep. I prefer Shep with higher upside. Then competition for Clay, Gibson, Garin (whom I agree is a year behind). Give us a call-up and some good upside. Competition is good.

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