NHL Prospect Report: Is John Gibson Primed To Emerge As An Elite Goaltender?

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by Ray Kuhn

John Gibson is a talented young goaltender and there is no disputing that the 22-year old is going to end his career having made multiple All-Star teams. What is surprising is that he made his first All Star game appearance this season.

Entering the season he had two small tastes of NHL experience. In 2013 he barely had time to get adjusted to life in the NHL as he played in three games, wining all of them while allowing a total of four goals. Last year his work was a little more extensive, 23 games (compiled a 13-8 record with a 2.60 GAA and a .914 save percentage), but not enough to disqualify him from being eligible for the Calder Trophy this season.

While it was hard to argue with his success, the Ducks still planned on taking it slow with their young net minder. With that in mind they signed Anton Khudobin to back-up Frederick Anderson. All Gibson did was start the year off with success in the AHL, posting a 7-4-1 record with a 2.63 GAA and .917 save percentage. It took Anderson to have the flu for Gibson to once again make his return to the NHL.

This time it appears that he is here to stay. While Anderson is also having a successful campaign, 2.37 GAA, Gibson isn’t going anywhere. Both goalies figure to be a factor moving forward in what appears to be a fluid timeshare in the battle for the top spot in the rotation. Coming off his All-Star berth you could make the argument that Gibson has the upper hand.

In 21 games Gibson has once again backed up his billing as a top prospect as he has a miniscule 1.91 GAA, .923 save percentage and four shutouts. It is understandable that the Ducks wanted him to play every day, but at this point he is too good to send back down.

Here is what the Hockey News has to say about Gibson:

Assets: Has an impressive frame (6-3, 216 pounds) for the goaltending position and plenty of natural puck-stopping talent. Has a tendency to rise to the occasion when challenged.
Flaws: As with most netminders, young or old, he needs to continue learning shooters’ tendencies in order to maximize his potential as a 60-game netminder in the NHL.
Career Potential: Talented goaltender with great upside.

 

it is hard to find many bad things to say. On paper he projects as a top NHL goalie moving forward, and there isn’t anything in his skill set that is lacking.

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