In anticipation of the Seattle Kraken‘s inaugural season, we at The Hockey Writers will be doing a deep dive on each player. This installment of the series focuses on goaltender Joey Daccord, who the Kraken selected from the Ottawa Senators.
2020-21 Team: Ottawa Senators/Belleville Senators
2020-21 Season: Daccord didn’t see a lot of action this past season. Between the American Hockey League’s (AHL) Belleville Senators and NHL’s Ottawa Senators, he played in just 10 games. He struggled at both levels. He lost both games he played with Belleville, recording a 5.00 goals-against average (GAA) and .867 save percentage (SV%). His numbers were slightly better in the NHL, but still below decent. In eight games, six starts, he went 1-3-1 with a 3.27 GAA and .897 SV%.
Type of Acquisition: The Seattle Kraken selected Daccord during the expansion draft
Daccord’s Pre-Kraken Career
Following high school, and being drafted 199th-overall in 2015, Daccord spent the 2015-16 season playing in the United States Hockey League (USHL) for the Muskegon Lumberjacks. He went 21-20-5 with two shutouts, a 3.10 GAA and .904 SV% in 48 games. The Lumberjacks missed the playoffs, and he left and headed to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) for the following season.
Daccord saw his game evolve as the Arizona State University Sun Devils saw their program rise. He joined the program in their second season, and went 3-8-1 with a 4.03 GAA and .892 SV% in 15 games. The team struggled, but did improve from five to 10 wins, so they were trending in the right direction.
The 2017-18 season saw Daccord assume full-time starter responsibilities for the Sun Devils. He played in 32-of-34 games, and recorded all eight of their wins. His individual statistics also continued to improve; a 3.51 GAA and .909 SV%. Despite the team regressing as a whole, his play improved as he seemed poise to continue his upward trend.
Daccord turned pro following a breakout 2018-19 season. He played 35 games, winning 21, and saw a career-high 2.35 GAA and .926 SV%. The Sun Devils made the NCAA Regionals for the first time in program history, losing 2-1 to the Quinnipiac Bobcats, while he made 36 saves.
His first NHL start came that same year, and he got rocked. The Senators lost to the Buffalo Sabres 5-2, despite his 35 saves. He split time between the ECHL’s Brampton Beast and AHL’s Belleville Senators during the 2019-20 season before finding his way back to the NHL for most of this past season.
Daccord’s Kraken Expectations
Daccord isn’t expected to make the Kraken roster, but he could very well be the future of Kraken goaltending. He looks to be the starting goalie for the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers, who the Kraken are sharing with the Florida Panthers this season.
If he carries the workload for the Checkers, he would be in good shape for a potential call up. The Checkers will be comprised of players from both the Panthers and the Kraken organizations, respectfully. There’s a good possibility that he’ll have a solid lineup supporting him game-in and game-out.
Was Selecting Daccord a Hit or a Miss?
Daccord comes to Seattle as the team’s most NHL-ready goaltending prospect. With nine NHL games over the past three seasons, he should get the nod over AHL veteran Antoine Bibeau. Bibeau has had some decent AHL seasons, but Daccord should be the guy for a spot call-up. Getting those spot-starts could be beneficial for his development, and should be prioritized.
While Daccord is the Kraken’s top-goalie prospect, they do have another in the pipeline, currently unsigned. Semyon Vyazovoy, taken 163rd-overall in 2021, has performed well playing in the Russian Junior League. He has a 1.33 GAA and .957 SV% in nine games this season. Yet, this move is still good for the Kraken as Vyazovoy is still years away from seeing NHL ice.
Kraken general manager Ron Francis hit on selecting Daccord. Since Philipp Grubauer and Chris Driedger look to be the clear-cut goalie tandem, Daccord has less pressure to be ready now. They won’t have to rush his development, which is key because goalies generally take longer to develop. St. Louis Blues goalie Jordan Binnington could be an interesting comparison.
Now, if you’re still reading after that statement, here’s the logic behind it. Binnington and Daccord both showed growth playing junior hockey and college hockey, respectively, before spending time in the ECHL. Then playing in the AHL until earning their call-ups. Simply, they’ve earned their dues to this point.
For Binnington, it resulted in a Stanley Cup and a nice payday. For Daccord, who’s three years younger, it’s too soon to tell. However, Binnington spent all but one game in the AHL between 2014 and his permanent call-up during the 2018-19 season.
It goes to show, Daccord could really use this AHL time to solidify himself into the go-to guy for the Kraken. Since they already have a solid tandem in net, he has the time to really grow his game with less pressure. It’s a hit for Francis.
Sean Raggio lives for hockey. He will be covering the Seattle Kraken, and is a co-host of “What’s Kraken” for THW. Sean gained experience in writing for television, print and radio while studying journalism at Quinnipiac University and being an active member in the student media organizations there. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to reach out on Twitter! A link can be found at the bottom of his articles, such as this one.