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After starring for Team USA, Ducks goalie Gibson ‘ready for the NHL right now’

May 22, 2013, 3:31 PM EDT

John Gibson

One of the biggest stories from Team USA capturing bronze at the recently-completed World Championships — America’s first medal since 2004 — was the play of 19-year-old netminder John Gibson.

Gibson, Anaheim’s second-round pick (39th overall) at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, went into the tournament behind Tampa Bay goalie Ben Bishop, but wrestled away the starting gig and ended up being one of the top goalies in the tournament.

“The only game he lost over there was against Switzerland, and they were territorially superior most of the game,” assistant executive director of USA Hockey Jim Johannson told the OC Register. “And it was 1-0 in the third, thanks to John. It’s hard to steal a game when you don’t score a goal.”

Piero Greco, Gibson’s former goalie coach with OHL Kitchener, had even more praise.

“He is ready for the NHL right now,” Greco said.

All of this presents an interesting situation for the Ducks.

Despite Greco’s assertion, Gibson probably won’t be in the NHL next season — it’s likely he’ll be with AHL Norfolk — but it’s clear he isn’t far off from competing for a spot with in Anaheim.

What does that mean for the current goalies, Jonas Hiller and Viktor Fasth?

Hiller’s heading into the final season of his four-year, $18 million deal and will be a UFA in 2014.

Fasth so quickly impressed Ducks brass this season that he was rewarded with a two-year, $5.8 million extension,after just eight games at the NHL level.

The X-factor here is the age of both Hiller and Fasth.

They’re both on the wrong side of 30 (Hiller turned 31 in February; Fasth is 31 in August) and Hiller is now two years removed from his 2011 All-Star appearance.

As such, the timing for Gibson could work out well, as both incumbents are expected to be off the books by the 2015-16 season. Gibson would be 22 by then, with a fair amount of experience at the AHL level.

Whatever the case, Greco says the Ducks have a good one in the making.

“His composure and poise have been outstanding all along,” Greco said. “He’s a leader in our room. That, even beyond his ability, is what sets him apart.”

  1. billyhauntswizards - May 22, 2013 at 3:33 PM

    Gibson has just been spectacular in every situation he’s been in, what a find for the ducks.

  2. 19to77 - May 22, 2013 at 3:52 PM

    Don’t make the same mistake the Jackets did and bring the guy up to the NHL too quickly. With the goaltending depth the Ducks have, they should be able to let him develop for a year or two, start him as a backup and let him grow into the role properly. Throwing a guy into the fire like the Jackets did with Mason can wreck even the most talented prospects. Luckily they have the depth to take their time. He’ll do great when he gets to the NHL.

    • pastabelly - May 22, 2013 at 4:16 PM

      Agree, their timing is perfect with Hiller. With the new lower salary cap, these high priced goalies or goalies looking to make big money (like Rask) will see deals expire or get traded.

  3. echech88 - May 22, 2013 at 3:57 PM

    The Ducks have yet another pretty good goalie in the minors as well in Frederik Andersen.

    Lots of depth + need for a little financial wiggle room after Getzlaf/Perry deals = likely Hiller trade.

    • ibieiniid - May 22, 2013 at 4:08 PM

      idk man… Andersen was my favorite goalie over Bobkov here in Norfolk this year…. but he still looked real shaky at times for a 23-year-old. I don’t think they’ll want to trade away Hiller to have that COMPLETELY unproven top 3 of Fasth, Gibson, Andersen. either way, I’ll look forward to actually having a solid goalie to watch at Ads games next season if Gibson comes here.

      • ibieiniid - May 22, 2013 at 4:08 PM

        well I guess that’s not “either way” as he might be the backup in ANA if they DO trade Hiller, but you get what I meant.

  4. dumbassgreg - May 22, 2013 at 4:19 PM

    this is good drafting maybe gillis could learn something lol

  5. jacketsfan7 - May 22, 2013 at 8:43 PM

    Only prob is Anaheim doesn’t need him

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