Ottawa Senators Prospects: Is Joey Daccord the Goalie of the Future?

PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 29: Joey Daccord #35 of the Arizona State Sun Devils makes a save in the second period during the game against the Providence Friars at PPG PAINTS Arena on December 29, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 29: Joey Daccord #35 of the Arizona State Sun Devils makes a save in the second period during the game against the Providence Friars at PPG PAINTS Arena on December 29, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /

Belleville’s best netminder during the 2019-20 season, Daccord has made his way up the depth chart

The 24-year old goaltender has had an interesting path to the pros since being a seventh-round selection in the 2015 NHL Draft. First off, Daccord was in the minority of players being selected out of high school as he was playing for Cushing Academy during the 2015 season, serving as the team captain.

After finishing high school, Daccord would transition to the USHL where he would play a season in Muskegon to hone his skills before his freshman season at Arizona State. During the talented netminder’s time at Arizona State, he put the team on the map for college hockey. Not exactly regarded as being a hockey hotbed, the Arizona State program had their inaugural season in 2015-2016 going 5-22-2 and cementing themselves as one of the worst teams in Division 1.

Now insert Daccord, in his first collegiate season he would become the starter and would post numbers that were strictly due to circumstance (0.892 SV%, 4.03 GAA), the Arizona State goalies were getting peppered. The following season Daccord would breakout despite poor team play, playing in 32 out of a possible 37 games and posting a 0.909 SV% and 3.51 GAA. The save percentage mark was incredible due to the number of shots he faced on a game by game basis.

Heading into 2018-19, his senior season, the steady Daccord would become arguably the best goalie in all of college and leading Arizona State to a 21-13-1 record and a spot in the NCAA Tournament for the first time. Daccord would put up godly stats while playing in all 35 games with a 0.926 SV% and a stellar 2.35 GAA, nabbing a second-team All-American and an NCAA Top-Goalie (Mike Richter Award) nomination. Daccord singlehandedly brought Arizona State on the map in college hockey and has found ways to impress at every level he’s played at.

2019-20 Recap

After turning pro late in the season prior, Daccord would look to start off on the right foot for the Senators organization whether in the ECHL or AHL.

Daccord would start the season in the ECHL, while the players with more experience, Marcus Hogberg and Filip Gustavsson would protect the net in Belleville. While nobody want’s to start their career in the ECHL, it’s a common path for many goalies entering the pro ranks. While the ECHL can be a tough lifestyle, Senators goaltending coach Pierre Groulx thinks it was best for Daccord in his interview with Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun.

"“He had some highs and lows. He had some games where he had shutouts and he had a game where he was left in for all nine goals,” Groulx said. “Like it or not, the East coast that’s great for goalies because it develops their mental attitude, dealing with crisis that you don’t necessarily get in other leagues because it’s a broken play league."

Appearing in 12 games with the Brampton Beast in the ECHL, Daccord had a 0.901 SV% and a 2.85 GAA, the numbers were pedestrian but that could be attested to the weak defensive game that plagues many players at that level. The rigours of a demanding ECHL travel schedule will work your mental game and make the AHL feel like a dream.

“I can’t really complain, it’s my first year of pro hockey and I’m happy I’m getting a lot of minutes,”

The 24-year old took full advantage of his opportunity to play in the AHL after Ottawa‘s Anders Nilsson was unfortunately sidelined with a concussion. Winning 15 games in just 24 games along with team-leading marks in save percentage (0.915) and goals-against average (2.61), he supplanted himself as the starting goalie.

In an interview with Ken Warren of the Ottawa Sun, the charismatic netminder cited playing time as essential for his development and has been happy with the amount of minutes he had been getting.

Daccord is never shy of the highlight reels as he is usually accustomed to showing up on highlight reels on a regular basis, one of his best saves of the season was sure to claim the headlines:

It would be hard to envision a better first year of pro hockey for Daccord and if the playoffs had happened it could have been all that better.

Future Number One?

Just looking at last year in a vacuum the Senators two best goalie prospects were Marcus Hogberg and Daccord with others trailing a distance behind.

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Hogberg was great in Ottawa and has proven capable at the NHL level, while Daccord doesn’t carry the same experience but did outperform the hulking Swede in the AHL.

It looks as if Ottawa will roll out next season with Anders Nilsson and Hogberg in the NHL, while Daccord will have the upper hand over Gustavsson to start in Belleville.

In the next year or two Ottawa should have a better grasp on their future as other prospects Mads Sogaard and Kevin Mandolese haven’t played professional hockey yet. With many Senators fans thinking of Daccord as their future number one goalie:

We can hope the momentum he gained from 2019-20 can carry over into next season.