Whitehall’s Gibson gets call to NHL
John Gibson has made it to the NHL.
A Whitehall native and Anaheim’s second-round pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Gibson was recalled by the Ducks from Norfolk of the AHL on Friday.
Anaheim plays Saturday in Phoenix.
The Ducks are rich with goaltending at the NHL and AHL levels but decided to promote Gibson and send rookie Frederik Andersen to the minor leagues.
“Obviously I’m really excited right now,” Gibson said. “I just want to make the most of this opportunity.”
While in Pittsburgh in November, Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau compared Gibson’s future to that of a “supernova” and said he believes the 20-year-old goaltender has an opportunity to become “a real star in this league for a long time.”
Boudreau was in no mood to rush Gibson to the NHL. Given that goaltender Jonas Hiller has led the Ducks to an NHL-best 71 points so far this season, and because Boudreau believes goalies benefit from full seasons at the AHL, the Ducks haven’t felt compelled to rush Gibson to the NHL.
Still, his performance has been difficult for Anaheim to ignore.
Gibson is 11-9-3 this season with a 2.61 goals-against average and a .915 percentage while leading the AHL with 700 saves.
Gibson last year led the U.S. to the gold medal at the World Junior Championships, garnering tournament MVP honors.
Local products Gibson, Brandon Saad (Blackhawks) and J.T. Miller (Rangers) all were drafted in 2011 and have made NHL rosters.