This is part 19 of my Prospect File series where I update you guys’ on Hockey’s Future’s Top 20 Anaheim Ducks prospects. This will be a daily series that will hopefully end before the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. I will also be doing a series on possible players the Ducks will take with their first round pick. Part 18 was on center Rickard Rakell. So, next up in part 19 is #2 on HF’s Top 20, goaltender John Gibson.
What can I say about John Gibson? What I can I say about the 19-year-old that plays like a 30-year-old? Gibson’s exploits internationally are well known now after a Gold Medal run in the World Junior Championships and a Bronze Medal run in the World Championships with USA Hockey. I’ve already spent a lot of time talking about Gibson and how big of a fan I am of his. His junior career is now over and will be heading to Norfolk barring a series of events that launches Gibson into a starting role in the NHL. He shouldn’t be a backup anywhere. So, with that in mind. Enjoy the scouting reports.
Weight: 209 lbs.
“Gibson has been an OHL standout since he joined the league with the Kitchener Rangers in 2011-12. Before that he was a standout talent with the U.S. National Team Development Program. The Pittsburgh native has always been a winner, and has always had the confidence to go with it. One of the biggest aspects of Gibson’s game is his mental stability and calm and collected style.
“His play was the main difference between Team USA and the rest of the field at the 2013 World Junior Championships, where the Gibson was named the tournament’s MVP while leading the team to a gold medal. He did not get a shot a real shot at the AHL this year, playing just one game late in the season, but he did take part in the IIHF World Championships in May and earned bronze with the U.S. He posted a remarkable .951 save percentage on the tournament and showed the potential to be a force under high pressure games against NHL professionals, taking the reigns for Team USA after Ben Bishop struggled against Slovakia.
“While not the most athletic of goaltenders, Gibson constantly has read the game well and plays such a positionally sound game he does not have to rely on athletics. Those strengths could make his adjustment to the pro level a smooth one, but goaltending is a volatile position and Gibson has some development ahead of him. That said, his standout play against his peers at the WJC and plenty of NHL-level talent at the WC was enough to place him among the best prospects in the Ducks system and among the elite goaltending prospects in the league.”
“Has an impressive frame for the goaltending position and plenty of natural puck-stopping talent. Has a tendency to rise to the occasion when challenged. 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.”
Next up in the series finale will be winger Emerson Etem.