Ducks, Kings each draft a goalie named Gibson; Kings' Smyth trade still in limbo
Good morning. I’ve got Tim Hortons coffee brewing to get through the second through seventh rounds of the NHL draft — and you can count on the process going much faster Saturday than Friday’s first round, which took four hours.
The Ducks used the 39th pick, which they acquired from Toronto on Friday, to select goaltender John Gibson (top left) from the U.S. under-18 team. Gibson is a Pittsburgh native who won gold with Team USA at the world junior championships and was named the best goalie of the tournament. He’s planning to go to the University of Michigan this fall.
The Kings traded their first-round pick and didn’t select until No. 49. They took goalie Christopher Gibson (top right), a native of Finland who came to North America and played for Chicoutimi of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League last season. He had a 2.42 goals-against average, which ranked second in the league during the regular season.
The Kings are strong in goal, but remember, these kids are several years away and there’s no telling what their goaltending needs might be down the road. Or whether they can use him as an asset in a trade.
And to continue the Ryan Smyth saga: although Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi told The Times Friday night that Smyth was “gone,” complications relating to the medical status of Gilbert Brule — who they’d get from Edmonton — are holding things up. Brule apparently hasn’t been cleared to play and it’s unclear if the Oilers can trade him to the Kings because he is still listed as having concussion symptoms. Or, if the trade is permitted, whether the Kings would be able to trade or waive him, which is their intention.
NHL Network just interviewed Christopher Gibson’s parents and now Gibson. He’s saying how his mom cried when he left Finland to play at Notre Dame College in Saskatchewan. After that, he left for the QMJHL and is learning French. Nice kid.
The two Gibsons aren't brothers -- they were born seven months apart.
One more note: Rossmoor native Rocco Grimaldi was chosen by Florida 33rd overall. He's an amazing talent but is only 5-foot-6 and will have to prove he can play with the big boys. Grimaldi and his family moved to Michigan when he was 15 to further his hockey career.
Check back later for more.
-- Helene Elliott
Photo credits: Bruce Bennett / Getty Images