The Kings did not have a 1st Round selection, so their first selection in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft was at #49. With the 49th selection, the Kings picked goaltender Christopher Gibson from Chicoutimi of the QMJHL. Gibson is an interesting selection, but was rated as the #2 NA based goaltenders in the draft. He hails from Finland originally, but has been playing in Canada since he was 15 years old.
As an 18 year old, Gibson is listed at 6 feet tall and 193 pounds. In his last season in the QMJHL, Gibson posted a 2.42 GAA and a .920 save %. They’re respectable numbers, especially since he’s playing in the high-scoring league that is known for producing scorers and goaltenders (not so much with the defensemen).
It’s yet another goaltender for the Kings system, which already seems to be bulging with goaltending talent, but it’s still a good selection. Just like in baseball you can’t have enough pitchers, the same is true in hockey. If the Kings have TOO MANY talented goaltenders, they can always move them for pieces they need later. In the meantime, Gibson will spend at least another while in the minors, since there’s no reason to rush him along with Quick, Bernier, Jones and Zatkoff all ahead of him in the depth chart.
I like this selection, and though he’s not going to be as big of an impact player in the short term, it’s a project/long-term potential selection that the Kings are making the middle of the 2nd round, and it set the stage for an interesting, but ultimately not terribly exciting draft day in Los Angeles.
The Central Scouting report on Gibson reads, “He’s a very confident goalie, has an air of confidence about him. He’s got very good net coverage, has good size and is very strong in his crease. He plays determined and aggressive, his movements are controlled, he tracks the puck very well and he challenges properly and holds his ground. He battled hard in all areas. He has a good, solid butterfly, was quick at gathering in any loose pucks and has good overall quickness.”